The Kansas City Royals and the Washington Nationals announced on Monday that star closer Kelvin Herrera would be shipped out to the National League East in return for minor leaguers Blake Perkins, Kelvin Gutiérrez, and Yohanse Morel.
Kelvin Herrera has been a stud for the last place Kansas City Royals with a 1.05 ERA with 14 saves and a 22/2 strikeout/walk ratio in 25 2/3 innings. Kelvin is coming off of a 2017 season in which he recorded a career-high 26 saves. Herrera has been a Kansas City Royal for his entire 8-year career and when asked about the trade, the 28-year-old responded with, “I was born and raised as a player [in KC] — this is tough.”
The 2-time All-Star was set to be a free agent at the conclusion of the 2018 season so Herrera will serve as a rental for the playoff-bound Nationals. The Nationals are currently three games behind the first place Atlanta Braves (just as weird to say as it is to hear) and with Sean Doolittle and Kelvin Herrera leading the bullpen charge, the Nationals will be better than ever.
Kelvin Gutiérrez is the Nationals’ Number 10 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. The Nats signed Gutiérrez as an international free agent in April of 2013. With Double-A Harrisburg this season, the third baseman hit a solid .274/.321/.391 in 249 plate appearances.
Blake Perkins is Washington’s Number 11 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. The outfielder was chosen by the Nationals in the second round of the 2015 Major League Baseball draft. This season, with High-A Potomac, Perkins hit a subpar .234/.344/.290 in 305 plate appearances.
Yohanse Morel was signed by the Nationals last July as an international free agent. In one start in the Dominican Summer League, Morel allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts across 3 1/3 innings. He is not in the Nationals’ top 30 as far as prospects are concerned.
Overall, this was a nifty deal by the Nationals to bolster an already great bullpen. It will be interesting to see in the coming months how this deal will affect the Nationals and their inevitable playoff run. As far as the Royals are concerned…there’s only 91 games of misery left this season.