Los Angeles Angels should explore Kelvin Herrera as a closer

The Los Angeles Angels have already made several signings this offseason but are yet to improve the bullpen with an arm that can make a difference.

The Los Angeles Angels have signed four new faces to one-year contracts this offseason that, at the very least, shore up some of the team’s needs.

The Angels are bringing in Matt Harvey, Trevor Cahill, Justin Bour and Jonathan Lucroy. Whether or not the moves will be good ones are dependant on their production (the past indicates it won’t be great) but the Angels have still patched some of the holes.

Now, the Angels need to figure out who is going to be pitching in the five-man rotation and who is going to have the defined roles in the bullpen. Heading into the year, the Angels really don’t have a defined closer or setup man, with that likely being decided by whoever else the Angels bring in as well as Spring Training performances.

While there is some promise in the Angels’ bullpen, I wouldn’t be too optimistic about the current situation and the team still needs to add some pieces. There does not need to be an entire bullpen overhaul, however, adding a defined closer and/or set up man would go a long way.

For the closer role, the Los Angeles Angels should go after one of the better arms still on the market, Kelvin Herrera. Not only is Herrera a deserving closer, but he could also fit the Angels’ plan of signing one-year deals.

Herrera was one of the best relievers in baseball on the Kansas City Royals. He was an all-star in 2015 and 2016, had a setback year in 2017 and was dominating with a 1.05 ERA in 27 games with the Royals last season.

Things leveled out after Herrera was traded to the Washington Nationals as Herrera posted a 4.34 ERA in Washington and finished the year with a season-ending foot injury.

Herrera will be ready to go by Opening Day but still won’t get the kind of contract he would have if he would’ve stayed in Kansas City and stayed healthy while dominating. Teams are going to be wary about Herrera, who has the stuff to prove he is worth a big reliever contract.

Thus, the best bet for Herrera is to sign a one-year deal that is slightly overvalued, like the Angels have been doing, to bet on himself to get a bigger contract next offseason. This allows Herrera to make some change this year while not needing to take a potential pay cut over several years.

A one-year, $7.5 million contract seems about fair for Herrera. It might seem like a hefty price tag but the Los Angeles Angels could be getting a lockdown closer for just $7.5 million. That is not bad at all.