Kelvin Herrera Traded to Nationals; Royals Receive 3 Prospects

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2018

KANSAS CITY, MO - MAY 15: Kelvin Herrera #40 of the Kansas City Royals pitches in the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Kauffman Stadium on May 15, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Kansas City Royals announced they traded closer Kelvin Herrera to the Washington Nationals on Monday.

Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com provided details on the three players being sent to Kansas City:

Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic broke down each prospect: 

Herrera has been one of MLB's most logical trade candidates for months given the Royals' descent into the American League Central cellar and his contract-year status. 

His numbers have also been superb. In 25.2 innings this season, Herrera has logged a 1.05 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 22 strikeouts and just two walks. 

That efficiency has been buoyed by a stellar three-pitch arsenal that features a blazing fastball—which is still registering an average of 96.4 mph despite dropping a few ticks from his peak—nasty slider and steady changeup, according to FanGraphs. Herrera had spent his entire seven-plus year career in Kansas City. 

Given those numbers and the short-term nature of the acquisition, it's no wonder the Nationals closed a deal with the Royals.

Washington is three games behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East and is a middling 12th in the league in bullpen ERA, per ESPN.com. Steadying the bullpen behind a rotation featuring the likes of Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg (when healthy) makes the team all the more dangerous in the chase for October.

This is also a Nationals team that lost in the NL Division Series in four of the last six years, and adding a dangerous presence like Herrera to the back end of the bullpen will allow it to shorten critical postseason games and find more success at the most important time of the season.

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