AL Notes: Herrera, Royals, Astros, Twins, Rodney

The Royals are prepared to keep reliever Kelvin Herrera if someone doesn’t offer “a huge haul” for him, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. Kansas City seems poised to begin a rebuild in 2018, which is Herrera’s last year of team control – two factors that make him a potential trade chip. Now doesn’t seem to be the ideal time to demand a major return for Herrera, though, considering his numbers trended in the wrong direction in 2017. After recording a 2.75 ERA with 10.75 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 72 innings in 2016, Herrera pitched to a 4.25 ERA and posted 8.49 K/9 against 3.03 BB/9 across 59 1/3 frames last season. The 28-year-old also saw his swinging-strike percentage plummet from 15.2 to 11.5, even though he continued to offer imposing velocity.

More from the American League:

  • Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told reporters Saturday that he’s “very happy” with his current roster, one he thinks is capable of winning a second straight championship in 2018, and added that “we’re in a good spot because we don’t have to do anything.” Luhnow also noted that, although things have been slow to develop across the majors this offseason, free agents and possible trade acquisitions who would improve the Astros would still require “a significant investment.” It seemed earlier this week that Luhnow was set to make such an investment in Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole, but a deal still hasn’t materialized. Luhnow has addressed the Astros pitching in other ways this offseason, though, having added Joe Smith and Hector Rondon to their bullpenĀ (Twitter video via Brian McTaggart of MLB.com).
  • The Twins’ Saturday agreement with Addison Reed “came out of nowhere” for new teammate and fellow reliever Fernando Rodney, a person close to Rodney told Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press. According to Rodney, the Twins promised him their closer role when they signed him last month to a deal that includes incentives for appearances and games finished. Now, it’s unclear whether he or Reed will act as the team’s primary closer. “We’ll see how it plays out,” said the source.
  • When the Reed signing becomes official, the Twins could jettison left-handed reliever Gabriel Moya to open up a spot on their 40-man roster, per Berardino. Moya, whom the Twins acquired from the Diamondbacks for catcher John Ryan Murphy last July, is fresh off an incredible Double-A season in which he logged a near-spotless ERA (.77) and posted 13.4 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9 over 58 1/3 innings. Despite that performance, the 23-year-old Moya does not rank among the Twins’ top 30 prospects at either Baseball America or MLB.com.

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