Sunday, November 4, 2018

Is Free-Agent Reliever Kelvin Herrera A Possible Post-Kimbrel Closer Option?

(Getty Images)
While the Red Sox have (correctly) extended a qualifying offer to Craig Kimbrel, $17.9 million is probably the bottom of what the closer can get in full free-agency. Still just 30-years-old, Kimbrel has been the best closer in baseball over the last decade—despite all the cardiac saves this post-season for the Red Sox. As strange as it sounds, there probably isn't a better closer option out there this off-season. Of course, there are possibilities—like old friend Andrew Miller, along with Daniel Robertson, Adam Ottavino, and Zach Britton. But none of these guys can match Kimbrel's 1.91 career ERA (and 333 saves). There is one "under-the-radar" option in 28-year-old Kelvin Herrera (he'll turn 29 next month). The Red Sox reportedly tried to trade for Herrera at last July's deadline—but he was dealt to the Nationals instead. He struggled in D.C.—both with performance and injuries. But, in his eight-year MLB career as a reliever, he has 60 saves and an ERA of 2.82. In 460 innings of work, he's yielded just 395 hits and has complied 8.9 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. The two-time All-Star (both while with the Royals) could be an interesting bullpen piece in the event that Kimbrel finds greener pastures elsewhere.