The rebuild is in full swing, as the Royals shipped reliever Kelvin Herrera to the Nationals for three minor leaguers. In return, the Royals receive outfielder Blake Perkins, a speedy, switch-hitting 21-year old outfielder hitting .234/.344/.290 in High A Potomac, third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez, a 23-year old third baseman hitting .274/.321/.391 in AA Harrisburg, and 17-year old right-handed pitcher Yohanse Morel, who has pitched three innings in the Dominican Summer League this year.
Here are the scouting reports on the prospects the Royals landed from Baseball America.
Perkins is a premium center fielder with plus speed, mature instincts, excellent routes and an above-average arm. He uses his speed well to be a threat on the basepaths. At the plate Perkins a switch-hitter better from the right side (.265, .690 OPS) than the left (.223, 613 OPS), with neither side showing enough for evaluators to project a big league regular....
Gutierrez draws strong reviews for his plus defense and plus arm at third base, but evaluators are skeptical he has enough power to profile as a major league third baseman.....
Morel is an intriguing, deep sleeper pickup for the Royals....Morel threw 88-91 mph when he signed but since then his fastball has jumped to 95 mph. With his fast arm speed and room to fill out his 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame, Morel has a chance to throw even harder in the future.
MLB Pipeline ranks Gutierrez 8th and Perkins 15th in the Royals’ system.
#Royals officials privately had wondered why a team wouldn’t step out for Herrera and pay a slightly higher price to secure him well before the non-waiver deadline. #Nationals did just that, acquiring Herrera for 3 1/2 months as opposed to two. Typical Mike Rizzo aggression.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 19, 2018
The “baseball men” weren’t high on the deal from the Royals’ perspective.
An #MLB scout on #Royals return for Kelvin Herrera. "Blake Perkins is athletic, but he isn't going to hit enough. Kelvin Gutierrez, while a good defender, won't provide enough offensive impact at 3B.'' Yohanse Morel is 17 and has 3.1 IP as a pro. Decent but not elite prospects.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) June 19, 2018
Here's the #Royals take on the deal: Blake Perkins is a 70 runner and 70 defender who's learning to switch-hit in high A at 21. Gutierrez is an above average defender who can move all over the field -- not just play 3B. And Morel is a 17-year-old power arm. They like the return. https://t.co/lxX7I3isqq— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) June 19, 2018
This is a total trust-the-scouts trade for Kansas City -- and completely on-brand with how Dayton Moore runs the organization. None of the three minor leaguers the Royals acquired are high on prospect lists. Club is banking on evaluators' judgments more than public perception.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 19, 2018
On the other hand:
From someone who's seen Yohanse Morel: Pretty good arm. Has touched 95 with a good slider. He's 17 and has appeared in one game in the Dominican Summer League. Years away.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) June 19, 2018
Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs questions the timing.
I don’t necessarily think that means the Nationals ripped the Royals off. This isn’t laughable or anything. But I’d characterize the return as leaning light. Given the time of year, and given the extra usage of Herrera the Nationals are going to get, I would’ve expected the return to lean heavy. An expression of faith in the scouts, indeed. The Royals are happy enough they didn’t want to wait to see if they could get anything more.
Clint Scoles at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City reviews the players received and is underwhelmed.
Overall, this deal doesn’t look great, as the players in the return besides Morel look less than what the Royals already have in the system. This very well could be a reaction to Kelvin Herrera’s last appearance in which Sal Perez thought there was something going on while he threw. Perhaps the Royals thought they better get some kind of return before an injury occurred and left them without, similar to what happened with Greg Holland and Joakim Soria. While that opinion is understandable, I think this return is light and would have rather the Royals looked to add Seth Romero and the baggage that he may have brought with him instead of a few limited upside players.
Dayton explains the trade.
Dayton Moore on making the Jay and Herrera deals well before the Trade Deadline: “We’d like to be holding on to our players longer, but where we are in the standings and what we’re faced with, how we’re playing, if we can get the right deals, it’s important to move (now)."— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) June 19, 2018
While discussing the Kelvin Herrera trade, Royals GM Dayton Moore remembered a story involving Reds exec Walt Jocketty from the Johnny Cueto deal in 2015: pic.twitter.com/fIeXyZjMn8— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) June 19, 2018
Here’s Dayton Moore discussing Gutierrez, Perkins and Morel, the return for Herrera: pic.twitter.com/VhrnEGSsDn— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) June 19, 2018
Fans seemed skeptical.
Again: maybe this was the best deal the Royals would get. But they had six weeks to find out. This is a deal you make on July 31st when it’s the best offer on the table. It’s not the deal you make on June 18th. https://t.co/kHAJYPfyPt— Rany Jazayerli (@jazayerli) June 19, 2018
It is a bad sign for the Herrera trade that as we are talking about it on @SportsRadio810 a bird flew into the window and died? Seems like Bad omen— Cody Tapp (@codybtapp) June 19, 2018
The Yankees traded Andrew Miller & Aroldis Chapman and got Gleyber Torres and two other top 40 prospects.— Ryan Landreth (@ryan_landreth) June 19, 2018
The Royals traded Wade Davis & Kelvin Herrera and got Jorge Soler and three prospects who are all “fringe major leaguers.”
In 2015, the #Royals traded Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed to the Reds for rental Johnny Cueto.— Kevin (@Kevin_Agee) June 19, 2018
Only Finnegan was among the team’s top 10 prospects. So let’s have some perspective here.
Kelvin says good bye, keeping it classy as always.
Thank you @Royals for everything these past 12 years, from the Glass family, to the FO, to my coaching staff, to my teammates, to every employee who made me feel family. I’m also very thankful for all our fans, you guys are the best and I’m gonna miss you all #ForeverRoyal pic.twitter.com/qmcKW7KmQi— Kelvin Herrera (@KelvinHerrera40) June 19, 2018
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