By: Noah Wright
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
The Royals hard throwing righty closer, Kelvin Herrera is on the last year of his contract, and is only owed a cheap 7.937 million for the 2018 season. With the cheap contract, and his fantastic performance so far (.83 ERA, 2.06 FIP, 7.5 K/9, no walks, only 1 homerun, .250 opponent BABIP, in 21 and 2 thirds of an inning), Herrera could be a heavily sought after trade target at the deadline. Multiple teams could use his services, and would greatly benefit if they make a move for him. Let's look at some of the potential landing spots for Kelvin Herrera.
1.) Pittsburgh Pirates
If The Pirates want to keep doing good, they need some relief pitching. Currently, The Bucs have a bullpen 4.16 ERA, and a .254 batting average against opponents. While they’re bullpen has been middle-of-the road, they could sure use some help. Closer, Felipe Vazquez has seen his fair share of injuries and struggles this year, and so has Michael Feliz. Edgar Santana has improved from his first month of the season, but has still been a bit spotty, and the same thing can be said about Tyler Glasnow, but to a slightly greater extent. A trade for a good late inning arm could really help The Pirates. However, The Pirates’ overall performance could be dependent on how they act at the deadline.
2.) LA Angels
The Angels closer role has been passed around the bullpen like hot potato. The season started with Blake Parker as the closer. Then Cam Bedrosian saw a few save opportunities. After he struggled, the role then was passed onto young righty Keynan Middleton. Middleton seemed to have locked down the role, but then was forced to undergo Tommy John Surgery. The role was then given back to Blake Parker. While Parker has produced a solid 2.73 ERA, 9.9 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 1.291 WHIP, 3.31 FIP, but with an unlucky .331 opponent BABIP, Jim Johnson and Bedrosian have been a bit shaky, and 2 arms they relied on to deliver the 9th. A trade for Herrera could definitely help reinforce their late inning situation, but since they do not have a very deep farm, it could be a bit difficult to acquire Herrera.
3.) St. Louis Cardinals
The Cards signed Greg Holland at the end of spring training. After some extended spring training, the righty came back in earlyish April, but did not perform well, and was placed on The 10-day soon after. The closer role was then given to Bud Norris, who has been solid, is not a proven closer. With the back-end-bullpen struggles The Cardinals have faced so far this season, they are prime candidates to make a trade to acquire Kelvin Herrera.
4.) NY Mets
Like The Pirates, this could be totally dependent on where The Mets are in July. The Mets got off to a hot start to the season, but have fallen below .500. The Mets have had their fair share of bullpen troubles, with A.J. Ramos walking 6.6 batters/9, and eventually having to be placed on The DL. Jerry Blevins has also had trouble finding the strike zone (5.1 BB/9), and having an uncharacteristic 5.5 K/9. Hansel Robles is suffering from homerun problems as well. If The Mets look like contenders at the deadline, they could be in a position to acquire the Royals’ righty. Another question The Mets could face is if they have the prospects to make such a trade.