Per a report from Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Royals are “fielding interest” in their hard-throwing closer, Kelvin Herrera. Sherman notes that Herrera drew interest from at least the Astros around the trade deadline.
The right-hander averaged a blazing 98 miles per hour on his fastball in 2017, right in line in his career norm. But after spending most of the season as Kansas City’s closer, racking up 26 saves, he was removed from the role, closing out his last game on August 26th. Herrera, who is almost 28 years of age, turned in a career-worst 4.25 ERA while also tying a career high in allowing nine home runs. This was also the first season of Herrera’s career in which he allowed more than one hit per inning pitched.
However, Herrera’s strikeout and walk numbers were right in line with his career norms, and his velocity and movement on his pitches have remained the same, boding well for a potential bounce-back season from the Dominican reliever.
2018 is Herrera’s last year of team control, and he is projected by MLBTradeRumors.com to rake in $8.3 million via arbitration, a price that may be too hefty for the now-rebuilding Royals. Teams are always on the hunt for relief pitching, so Herrera should have no shortage of suitors. In addition to the Astros, I’d posit that the Twins, Cubs, Cardinals and Dodgers would be especially good fits.