USA Today Sports

Source: Red Sox showing interest in Rangers' closer

Rob Bradford
July 28, 2018 - 1:59 pm

According to a major league source, the Red Sox are expressing interest in Texas closer Keone Kela.

With the uncertainty surrounding the Red Sox' bullpen of late thanks to Joe Kelly's downturn and some inconsistency from the other set-up men, such an acquisition wouldn't come as a surprise. The Sox were known to have been in on the reliever Ryan Pressly talks before he was dealt from the Twins to the Astros Friday night. They also were in discussions with the Orioles about Zach Britton before he was traded to the Yankees.

The 25-year-old Kela is a right-hander who has converted all but one of his 24 save opportunities this season, striking out 43 and walking 12 in 35 2/3 innings. His most recent outing represented the reliever's blown save, giving up only his third home run of the year.

The only issue that might not make the Red Sox go all-in for Kela is his struggles against lefty hitters, who have a .315 batting average against the closer. Right-handed hitters, conversely, are hitting just .128. On the other hand, that skill-set might come in handy when going up against the likes of the Yankees' middle of the order.

Kela has two more years of arbitration-eligibility, making $1.2 million this season.

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