A little more than 24 hours after speaking to reporters in Kansas City about his trade to Washington, Kelvin Herrera took the mound Tuesday in his first game with the Nationals.
It was a whirlwind for Herrera.
"Yeah," Herrera told MLB.com. "Crazy."
Herrera was crazy good in his debut, needing a mere six pitches to set down the Orioles in order in the eighth inning. His new teammates were thrilled to have Herrera.
"It's funny, you see 95 on the Jumbotron, but it looks like 104," Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton told MLB.com. "I'm not kidding. I don't know what the gurus upstairs say about his spin effect or whatever, but I'm telling you, it looks like 104 coming out of a cannon. I'm so happy he's here and he's on my team and I don't have to face him anytime in the near future."
Herrera was greeted in the clubhouse before the game by a pair of former Royals teammates who are with the Nationals: Ryan Madson and Tim Collins.
“It’s like when you move to a neighborhood, and in the neighborhood there are two neighbors that you’ve lived near before,” Herrera told the Washington Post. “Obviously, we get along really well, and that makes me feel really good.”
Herrera looked really good on Tuesday:
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told the Post that he reached out to Royals GM Dayton Moore three or four weeks ago to express interest in acquiring Herrera.
The Nationals traded a trio of minor league players to the Royals and are paying the prorated portion of Herrera's salary, which the Post said was around $4.4 million.
As the Post story noted, paying that money allowed the Nationals to get Herrera without giving up any of their top prospects.
“I think it really affects the player return, obviously,” Rizzo told the Post. “Picking up the entire contract — the prorated portion of the contract — was important because it allows us to make the best deal we can for the long-term future of the organization.”