Nats acquire Kelvin Herrera from Kansas City

Baseball’s bad teams are so bad this year that the trade market has jump started already¬†and it’s getting even hotter as we move closer to the non-waiver trade deadline. The Washington Nationals and Kansas City Royals have made the latest trade.

Kelvin Herrera has been nails for Kansas City in 25.2 innings pitched. The eighth year veteran has pitched¬†1.05/2.62/3.51 while being worth 0.7 wins and closing out 14 of the Royals 22 wins. Herrera is sporting a career low walk rate while also seeing a slight decrease in his strikeout numbers. While it’s concerning that he isn’t striking out a bunch of hitters this season, it’s come with a ridiculously high stranded rate of 98.9% and an incredibly low BABIP against of .246.

It’s unlikely that Herrera will sustain his high stranded rate and low BABIP against, so his numbers will regress at a time when Washington is trying to reinforce its middle of the road bullpen. But his likely regression isn’t the biggest concern regarding this deal.

The biggest concern regarding this trade is the cost Washington paid for an over performing closer to reinforce a bullpen that isn’t awful.

The Nationals ditched some of their top rated prospects for a reliever that’s in the last year of his deal and there’s no guarantee that he’ll resign with them. It’s very much a win now move for a team that is trailing Atlanta by three games in the National League East.

Yes, this will add some add an extra power arm in the bullpen for this season…but that’s it. Herrera is going to be expensive to resign this season and it’s unknown how Washington’s negotiations with Bryce Harper, and any potential contract he’d sign, will impact the franchise’s financial flexibility going forward. Even if Herrera is willing to resign with the Nats, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to ink him if they get a deal down with their star outfielder.

Basically the Nationals sold off three of their top prospects for a rental pitcher that is bound to regress this season. It’s a win now move that might not help them win now; and that’s concerning.