Update (1:50 AM ET): The deal is official.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Rangers will trade reliever Keone Kela to the Pirates. The Rangers will receive two players to be named later from the Pirates, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman.
Kela, 25, has been solid out of the bullpen for the Rangers, putting up a 3.44 ERA with 44 strikeouts and 14 walks in 36 2/3 innings. The right-hander is owed the remainder of his $1.2 million salary and is arbitration eligible for three more years.
The Rangers and Pirates are headed in different directions. At 46-62, the Rangers have already begun to sell off, having traded Cole Hamels to the Cubs. The 55-52 Pirates find themselves in the thick of things in the NL Wild Card race and could be contenders in the NL Central as well.
Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.
And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”
What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.
But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:
A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.