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MLB trade rumors: Rangers shopping Jeremy Jeffress, Keone Kela

Will the Rangers take advantage of a league-wide desire for bullpen help and move Jeremy Jeffress?

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers Photo by Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (9:00 pm): Texas is also open to offers for righty Keone Kela, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Kela, who started the year in the minors, has posted a solid 2.51 ERA in 32.1 innings this year and is controllable through 2020.

ORIGINAL: As Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports, the Rangers are shopping reliever Jeremy Jeffress, with Crasnick mentioning that the 29-year-old right-hander could benefit from a move to an NL club.

Jeffress has struggled mightily this season, posting a 5.21 ERA with a 1.68 WHIP over 38 innings while striking out 28 batters and walking 18. He’s previously shown the ability to be a very successful option in the late innings, though, and the Rangers will certainly be looking to market that track record as they look to find a trade partner for him.

Last season, Jeffress was dominant for the Brewers, posting a 2.22 ERA with a 1.25 WHIP while converting 27 of 28 save opportunities over 44.2 innings. Jeffress was dealt to the Rangers along with Jonathan Lucroy at the deadline, and while he missed roughly a month after being suspended for a DWI arrest, he was also solid for the Rangers, posting a 2.70 ERA with a 1.28 WHIP over 13.1 innings in Texas.

If Jeffress can turn it around, he’d be a solid value for any club that acquired him, as he’s making only $2.1 million this season and has two seasons of arbitration remaining.

A couple of controllable relievers having unremarkable seasons, Dan Jennings and Brandon Maurer, have already been moved this month and brought back significant value in return. If a team is intrigued by Jeffress’ controllability and willing to bet that he’ll return to his 2016 form, it’s possible that he could bring back the same type of solid return. With nearly every contender looking to beef up its bullpen, it definitely makes sense for the Rangers to at least explore the market for him, especially as they slip further out of contention for an AL Wild Card spot.