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Rangers trade Keone Kela to Pirates

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Update (1:50 AM ET): The deal is official.

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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.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.