On Monday, the Washington Nationals announced they had acquired reliever Kelvin Herrera, a right-hander, from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for three prospects. Herrera had been considered one of the most wanted relievers available for trade.
The three prospects the Royal acquired are right-hander Yohanse Morel, third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez and outfielder Blake Perkins.
This season Herrera has an ERA of 1.05 and 14 saves with Kansas City through Monday with 22 strikeouts and just two walks in 25 2/3 innings of work. In 2017, Herrera had 26 saves for the Royals.
Washington manager Dave Martinez said Herrera has been very good and is excited he has joined the team. Martinez added that Herrera has come in during the eighth inning and has been a closer as well. The team said Martinez already has a top closer so Herrera will asked to do different things as well as close.
The Nationals will have two arms that can close games to pick from. Sean Doolittle has been strong this season for the Nationals as the closer posting 18 saves in his 19 opportunities with an ERA of 1.47 and 43 strikeouts across 30 2/3 innings of work.
Doolittle was pleased with the addition of Herrera as he called the trade awesome as it added a closer, who has won the World Series, to the team’s bullpen.
Doolittle added that the front office has sent a message to the team over a month prior to the trade deadline that they want to get us help in the bullpen.
The Royals received Gutierrez, who is 23, and the 10th ranked prospect for the Nationals. He currently has a batting average of .274, with 5 home runs, 3 triples, 6 doubles, 26 RBIs, 16 walks, 36 runs scored and 10 stolen bases over 58 games at Harrisburg in Double-A.
Perkins, who is 21, has a batting average of .236, with one home run, 11 doubles, 40 walks, 21 RBIs, and 38 runs scored across 63 games at Potomac in Class A.
Morel, who is only 17, was signed in 2017 by Washington as a free agent who was not drafted. He is considered to have a very strong arm.
The Nationals are currently second in the National League East with 38-32 record and trail the first place Atlanta Braves by 3 ½ games, but have lost four straight.