On Thursday night, the KC Royals locked up seventh inning man Kelvin Herrera to a two year deal. The deal is worth $4.15 million. He will earn $1.6 million in 2015 and $2.55 million in 2016, with up to $250,000 in performance bonuses.
Herrera is under Royals control through the 2018 season and can re-enter the arbitration process before the 2017 season.
Herrera is four years younger than both closer Greg Holland and setup man Wade Davis, with Holland possibly becoming a free agent after next season. Davis has options for both the 2016 and 2017 season. Meaning Herrera could become the closer by then and cost the Royals a WHOLE lot more in arbitration than the measly $1.9 million he was asking for in arbitration this year.
The glaring negative for Herrera is his health, something that dogged him as a starter during his minor league career. He had a shoulder issue in 2014, despite his domination of opposing hitters (no home runs allowed).
The Royals now have just two players left to sign: closer Greg Holland and first baseman Eric Hosmer. Kansas City Star reporter Andy McCullough wrote that there could be a settlement with Holland as early as today. Remember, GM Dayton Moore has yet to reach the hearing phase of arbitration in his tenure with the Royals.
Pitchers and catchers officially report to Surprise on Thursday, February 19th.