Reliever Kelvin Herrera was a huge part of the 2014 Kansas City Royals team that reached the World Series. The club recognized that, avoiding arbitration by re-signing him to a two-year, $4.15 million deal, per CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The 25-year-old appeared in 70 games for the Royals last season, finishing 4-3 with a 1.41 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 59 strikeouts and 20 holds in 70 innings pitched. He also made 11 postseason appearances, going 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 16 strikeouts and three holds in 15 innings.

Herrera was generally Kansas City’s top option in the seventh inning, combining with Wade Davis and Greg Holland to give the Royals an amazing trio of relievers to close a game and essentially ensure that the Royals’ starters only needed to give them six innings.

Just how dominant was the trio? Buster Olney of ESPN breaks it down:

With a fastball that can hit 100 MPH and a nasty curveball, Herrera is an excellent weapon to bring out of the bullpen, especially in the seventh inning. One would imagine Herrera’s future is either as a setup man or a closer, but for now, the Royals have to be relieved they could agree on a contract with him to avoid arbitration.

And they certainly have to be relieved he’s under club control until 2019. If Herrera can continue to build on his excellent 2014 campaign, he has all the makings of being a special reliever for many years to come.


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