The White Sox have requested waivers on right-hander Kelvin Herrera for his unconditional release, as first reported by James Fegan of The Athletic. Herrera was playing out the final year of a two-year, $18MM contract signed with the Sox prior to last season. Herrera was designated for assignment on Friday.
Herrera’s White Sox tenure will come to an unceremonious end after one-plus year in Chicago, a period during which he hardly resembled the late-inning menace that helped the Royals to a World Series title. His velocity has been in a steady decline since 2015, with his four-seamer measuring in at 94.5 mph this year, a far cry from the 98.8 mph he averaged five years ago (to be fair, he’s thrown just seven four-seamers this season; perhaps last year’s 96.3 mph velocity is closer to the “truth”).
In 57 games with the White Sox last year, he notched a disappointing 6.14 ERA while striking out 53 batters in 51 1/3 innings. Walks have been an issue since signing with Chicago, as he’s averaged an even 4.0 BB/9, up considerably from the 2.8 BB/9 he surrendered during his Royals tenure.
Speculatively, Herrera may have a future in Miami with the Marlins, whose need for depth pitching is undeniable given the state of the roster. They figure to be a potential landing spot for just about any hurler that becomes available. And for what it’s worth, Herrera would seem to fit in with the theme of the Marlins’ offseason: low-cost veterans such as Jesus Aguilar, Jonathan Villar, and Corey Dickerson were prioritized last winter and have helped the Marlins to a 2-1 start to the year (firmly in playoff position!).