Kelvin Herrera Traded to the Nationals

Photo Credit: Keith Allison

by: Eric Boston @EricBoston3

The Kansas City Royals have traded one of, if not, their top trade chips - RP Kelvin Herrera.

I wrote not long ago about the Royals dealing players as the team looks to rebuild. The first deal that GM Dayton Moore made was to send OF Jon Jay to Arizona. Now the team's closer is heading to the nation's capital.

Herrera has appeared in 27 games to this point in the season. In 25.2 IP he sports a 1.05 ERA with 22 strikeouts and 14 saves.

It makes sense for the Royals to deal Herrera. He is going to be a free agent this off-season and contending teams always have room to improve their bullpen. Kansas City is not a contending team, currently sitting at 22-49 on the season and in last place in the very weak American League Central division.

The matchup with the Washington Nationals makes sense on paper. The Nats have been working for nearly a year on strengthening their bullpen, and Herrera brings plenty of late-inning success with him to D.C.

The Nationals also have a lot of good prospects to deal - that makes the return that KC got a big of a head-scratcher.

The Royals received 3B Kelvin Gutierrez, OF Blake Perkins and RHP Yohanse Morel. I would not expect to get Juan Soto in return (but let me dream), however, I would have thought that Moore could have pried away another of Washington's top prospects - like OF Victor Robles.

Instead, the team gets the Nat's #10 and #11 prospects in Gutierrez and Perkins respectively, and perhaps a wildcard in Morel.

Our friends at Royals Farm Report tweeted this about Guiterrez who seems to be the main piece in this deal:
Kelvin Gutierrez: 3B, Nationals #10 prospect, 23 yo, hitting .274/.321/.391 in AA, 10 SB, 5 HR, good swing, good approach, used to be a SS
While the Royals added some [hopefully] good players to their pipeline, only time will tell just how good they will end up being.

Perkins is considered a defensive OF who has played a lot of CF, a position the team definitely could look to solidify.

Final Thoughts

Moving Herrera is not surprising. The return could have certainly been a bit better though. With time to continue shopping the closer, here is hoping that Dayton Moore didn't jump the gun on this trade. That is something the rebuilding franchise, that hopes to return to the postseason as soon as possible, cannot really afford.

For Washington, it seems like a boom or bust year for them. SP Max Scherzer looks like a lock for the National League Cy Young and superstar OF Bryce Harper is a FA at the end of the year. Adding an arm like Herrera will help to shorten the game by becoming a piece of what the team hopes is a shutdown bullpen. Winning a championship in 2018 is clearly the top priority in D.C.

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