MLB Trade Rumors: Keone Kela a Top Target for Pirates

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 24, 2018

Texas Rangers relief pitcher Keone Kela (50) throws during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Wednesday, July 4, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. Houston won 5-4 in 10 innings. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Brandon Wade/Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Pirates' surge up the National League standings could make them buyers at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Pirates have shown "legitimate interest" in Texas Rangers closer Keone Kela

Pittsburgh entered play on Tuesday riding a 10-game winning streak that has pushed the team within 3.5 games of the second wild card spot in the National League. 

The Pirates' entire pitching staff has been problematic this season. They rank 18th in MLB with a 4.22 ERA overall, with their relievers boasting the same ERA. 

In his first full season as Texas' closer, Kela has posted a 3.18 ERA with 23 saves, 25 hits allowed and 41 strikeouts in 34 innings. The Rangers are currently in last place in the American League West with a 42-59 record and are on the verge of missing the postseason for the second straight year.