As the trade deadline approaches, teams are taking their form as buyers or sellers. While that is happening, players that can help the St. Louis Cardinals are becoming available.
One of these players is Keone Kela. Recently, MLB Trade Rumors posted something saying that the Rangers are making some guys available, and their closer is one of them. There is a lot to like about the young flamethrower. Two of the biggest things are that he is young, and a flamethrower. If the St. Louis Cardinals want to add a reliable arm, he might be the good option.
The aging and out of contention Rangers will be looking for prospects. But that is something the Cardinals can likely oblige with. The fact he is only 25 makes his potential price tag just a little bit higher.
Why He Is A Good Option
Kela is young, cheap, and controllable. He costs 1.2 million this season, and will be in his second arbitration at the end of the year. That means he will not be a free agent until 2021. What is even better is that he is pitching extremely well this year.
This is more of an investment trade than just a rental. Kela will be a name that Mike Matheny, or whoever is managing, to call for the next few seasons. It will also allow the St. Louis Cardinals to have a true closer, if they choose to use him that way.
Texas is using him in a closer role, and he has responded very well. Kela has 18 saves in 18 opportunities so far this year.
Why He Is Not A Good Option
There is very little pointing this direction, other than the biggest factor. Price tag. A young, controllable, and talented pitcher will not come cheap. That does not mean a deal cannot be made, but it certainly puts a damper on it.
It is not a very good comparison, but looking at the Kelvin Herrera trade gives a starting point on the relief trade market. The Royals received three prospects. Kelvin Guttierez slots in at number eight in their top 30, Blake Perkins at 15, and Yohanse Morel. The latter is not in their top 30, according to MLB Pipeline.
With that as the comp, the trade seems doable. The tag would have to increase because of age and control, but it certainly is not impossible.
Personally, I like the idea. But, it might be smarter to look elsewhere. Especially if Greg Holland continues being the guy that the St. Louis Cardinals are paying for. Still, it would be irresponsible of John Mozeliak not to at least kick the tires.