The Nationals will be “keeping a close eye on” Royals closer Kelvin Herrera as the trade deadline approaches, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports. Currently sitting in first place by a whopping 11.5 games in the NL East with a record of 36-20, the Nationals will be searching for a closer to lock down the back end of the bullpen.
The Nationals have already had five pitchers record saves this year, with four recording multiple saves. They recently named 24-year-old Koda Glover at the club’s closer, but that has yielded mixed results as his ERA has ballooned to 4.58, despite converting seven of eight save opportunities.
With closers coming at an incredibly high value, the Nats may look to acquiring Kelvin Herrera, who is currently 1-1 with a 4.30 ERA, and he has converted 12 of his 14 save opportunities. Herrera has been selected to the past two All-Star games for the American League, but is in the midst of a disappointing season as Kansas City continues spiraling out of contention.
The Royals are said to have interest in trading other notable names such as Jason Vargas, Mike Moustakas, and Lorenzo Cain as all three of them are set to hit free agency at the end of this season. Herrera is under team control through 2018, and could be a key piece for Washington as they enter the NL pennant race.
Herrera is not the only closer possibility for the Nats, who have also been linked to A.J. Ramos (Marlins), David Robertson (White Sox), Roberto Osuna (Blue Jays) and others.