3 Players Who May Have Played Their Last Game with the Pittsburgh Pirates

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Relief pitcher Keone Kela

This is an obvious one. Pittsburgh Pirates closer Keone Kela is set to become a free agent following the 2020 season. So, if there is no season, the next time he pitches in a MLB game it will not be as a member of the Pirates.

The Pirates acquired Kela at the 2018 trade deadline in an effort to create one of the best bullpens in the National League. This came as part of a trade deadline that saw the Pirates surprise the baseball world by making two of the biggest splash moves by trading for Kela and starting pitcher Chris Archer. Kela’s work after coming to Pittsburgh helped the Bucs finish the 2018 season with a winning record for the first time since 2015.

Kela spent large chunks of the 2019 season on the injured list due to a shoulder issue. He also served a team issued suspension due to an altercation with coaches. When he was one the mound, however, Kela pitched well. In 29.2 innings of work he posted a 2.12 ERA, 3.52 FIP, a strong 0.91 HR/9, 9.2% walk rate, and a 27.7% strikeout rate.

Since coming to Pittsburgh in July 2018, Kela has pitched 46 innings. In these 46 innings of work he has posted a 2.54 ERA and a 3.41 FIP. He’s allowed 0.98 HR/9, walked 9.7% of batters faced and struck out 30.7% of opposing batters.

While Kela’s Pirate career may prove to be short lived, he has done what the team expected when they acquired him. He has been an above average bullpen arm. The problem is, Kela battled injuries and off field issues in 2019, and a lot of the other pieces the team expected to fall in place with the rest of the roster did not.