Jeff Passan reports that the Chicago White Sox are in agreement on a two-year, $18 million deal with reliever Kelvin Herrera. There is a vesting third-year option as well.
Herrera pitched for the Royals and Nationals last year, putting up a combined 2-3 record with a 2.44 ERA in 44 games. He was the closer for the Royals and, initially anyway, set up for the Nats, moving into closing duties once Sean Doolittle was injured. Herrera’s own season ended on August 26 when he was carted off the field after tearing the Lisfranc ligament in his left foot. The Lisfranc ligament connects several bones in the foot. I did not know that and I imagine neither did most of you.
In all Herrera picked up 17 saves on the year. He struck out 38 batters and walked 10 in 44.1 innings. He’ll likely close for the White Sox.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.
Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.
The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.