Minnesota Twins Rumors: Interest in RP Kelvin Herrera
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins have been linked to a familiar face within the division as they left the Winter Meetings, RP Kelvin Herrera.
The Minnesota Twins had a mostly quiet Winter Meetings. There were rumblings of conversations the Twins had over the week with free agents, but there were no contracts signed. The only official movement from the Twins came from their selection of relief pitcher Dusten Knight in the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 Draft.
We knew after Day 2 of the Winter Meetings that the Twins were interested in, or at least checked in on, a trio of bullpen arms in Cody Allen, Andrew Miller, and Joakim Soria. At the end of the meetings we also learned that the Twins have interest in former Royals and Nationals reliever Kelvin Herrera.
Herrera is in a tough place as a free agent as there will certainly be a lot of intrigue in his skill set as a reliever, but his health status will cause a lot of pause from teams. Herrera struggled through 2018 and eventually saw his season end due to an injured ligament in his foot commonly referred to as the Lisfranc ligament. While recently it appears that Herrera has been progressing well in his recovery, there are still no guarantees that he will be able to pitch effectively in 2019.
More from Puckett's Pond
- Minnesota Twins: After signing with the Mets, Correa spurns Twins again
- Minnesota Twins: You Spin Me Right Round, Right Round
- Minnesota Twins: What happens next at Shortstop?
- Minnesota Twins: Grading the Twins’ Joey Gallo signing
- Minnesota Twins: 4 Possible Trade Chips not named Kepler or Arraez
The right-hander certainly fits the mold of where we have seen the best relievers trend towards. Herrera throws hard and still hits 97 mph with his four seam fastball. He then also mixes in a slider, curveball, and changeup each dropping to below 90 mph. That mix has allowed Herrera to be considered one of the better relievers in the game and motivated the Nationals to trade for him midseason. After going to the Nationals injuries popped up and resulted in some struggles for the rest 2018 for Herrera.
Herrera represents the type of player that the Twins have often been linked to. A player who has a storied track record but most recently in 2018 had some sort of struggle. We see that in the signing of Jonathan Schoop and also in the interest in Allen and Miller. Herrera is like those players and also a bit like Michael Pineda who the Twins signed last offseason simply because no one knows how healthy Herrera will be when the 2019 season begins.
It is that question mark of health and performance that had MLB Trade Rumors predict that Herrera would receive a prove it 1 year and $8 million contract. If the Twins really have faith in the fact that Herrera’s struggles were purely injury related it may be smart for them to work out some multi-year contract to guarantee they see some of that return to dominance in a Twins uniform.
It will take some time before we see Herrera sign as he will likely be among the group of relievers that are waiting for Craig Kimbrel to sign to help shape the market for bullpen help. Herrera wouldn’t be a bad addition to the Twins roster, but he would also add to the list of question marks that is piling up on the 2019 roster. We will simply have to wait and see how this materializes.