It’s difficult to predict how teams will look at the midpoint of the season just a few games into the season, but it is assumed the Dodgers will be competing. It can also be assumed that some of the teams that have gotten off to horrible starts probably will not bounce back. Teams like the Reds, Marlins, and Royals are all looking like potential sellers at the trade deadline this season. Or perhaps even before.
Out of those three teams, the Royals are probably the ones most capable of turning things around. It’s well known that the Reds and Marlins are in ultimate rebuild mode, so winning is certainly not expected. But the Royals have the most intriguing trade chips and many believe they will be quick to become sellers.
If the royals continue to lose (tied in 10th today) they could be sell central this summer. Good pieces to move, too. https://t.co/uGbe4Q7GUq
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 20, 2018
There are a number of names in that lineup that could become available, but Kelvin Herrera stands out. He has been absolutely dominant since 2012, with an exception of last year. At his best, he pitched 70 innings with a 1.41 earned run average. Since then he has taken over the closing role and has dominated early in the 2018 season, despite a 3-14 start from his team.
Imagine a bullpen with Kenley Jansen and Kelvin Herrera at the back end of it. Regardless of what order you pair the tandem, they would be one of the most dominant late-inning duos in baseball. Jansen is struggling right now. Perhaps that relief could allow him to work some things out before it’s too late in the season.
Herrera has yet to allow a run in his six appearances this year. He has also struck out eight and has not allowed a walk in his 4.2 innings of work. Hererra currently ranks in the top four for Fielding Independent Pitching(FIP), which measures what a pitcher’s era would have looked like had he experienced a league-wide average on balls in play. Essentially eliminating luck from the equation. He is slated to become a free agent at the end of the season, so he almost certainly will be made available should Kansas City continues to lose.
It’s certainly plausible that more teams could fall and thus open up more opportunities for acquisitions. However, these teams almost seem to be destined for a selling-type season. Ian Kennedy, Danny Duffy, Tim Hill could all be trade targets for Los Angeles as well. Regardless, it will be interesting to see what options become available for the deep-pocketed Dodgers.