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Kyle Keller, Hanshin Tigers agree to deal

Another member of the Pirates’ revolving door bullpen is gone.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Philadelphia Phillies Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today, it was reported by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman that right-handed pitcher Kyle Keller has signed with the Hanshin Tigers of the Nippon Baseball League in Japan.

Keller, 28, was acquired by the Pittsburgh PIrates from the Los Angeles Angels for cash in April and struggled to catch any momentum as a part of the Pirates’ bullpen, as he allowed 27 earned runs and 30 hits over 33 innings pitched. In addition, he allowed a career-high nine home runs last season.

After the season ended in October, Keller was among the shopping list of players who were outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis. Others included Wilmer Difo, Shea Spitzbarth, and Connor Overton, who was signed to a minor league deal by the Cincinnati Reds earlier this month.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, Keller is expected to compete for the Tigers’ closer role. Keller is expected to earn $1.3 million, with the ability to earn up to $300,000 in incentives. MLBTR also reports that the Tigers are expected to give Keller “high-leverage opportunities”, citing his impressive numbers in Triple-A, most notably his strikeout-to-walk ratio.