Nationals Extend Livan Hernandez

4:21pm: MLB.com's Bill Ladson tweets that Hernandez received an incentive-laden contract with a $1MM base salary. If he can come anywhere near his 2010 performance, he'll be a steal at that price. Livan's been a 2.7 WAR pitcher so far, and Fangraphs values his performance at $10.7MM.

3:44pm: The Nationals have signed Livan Hernandez to a contract for 2011, tweets MASN's Ben Goessling. The team has confirmed the deal through a press release.

Hernandez has been a pleasant surprise for the Nationals in 2010, to say the very least. Expected to be a marginal innings eater at best, he's instead posted a 3.49 ERA through 175.1 innings. His minimal strikeout totals (4.7 K/9) are expected, but complemented with Hernandez's usual strong control (2.8 BB/9).

The Nationals can use all the rotation help they can get, on the heels of the news that phenom Stephen Strasburg has a significant tear of his ulnar collateral ligament and will likely undergo Tommy John surgery.

It may be unfair to expect an encore performance of the reborn Hernandez in 2011; he's allowing his fewest number of hits (almost exactly one per inning) since his All-Star campaign in 2004 with the Washington franchise when they were still based in Montreal. Still, if he can continue to limit the walks and home runs, he's a low-risk option to be a serviceable rotation arm at a reasonable price.


6 Responses to Nationals Extend Livan Hernandez Leave a Reply

  1. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    Good move. Everyone thought that Livan would fall apart late in the season, but no. Really good season and he deserves this.

  2. Koby2 5 years ago

    If the price is right this is a good move. Even if he regresses some next year, it’ll be helpful to have someone to eat some innings and help not rush the young guys.

  3. HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

    Agreed with the other two, he does deserve it based on his performance this year, especially at that price. It seems like the guy has been around forever!

  4. jmag043 5 years ago

    I figured he’d get at least 2 to 3 times that guaranteed amount. Must be some crazy incentives.

  5. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

    I love this signing for Washington. Livan is one of my all time favorites, he’s a good guy, he’s durable, a good influence on the young pitchers, he’s been through all kind of ups and downs, had to adjust, then re-adjust his pitching style over the years, and still manages to find success. He is going to make an absolutely fantastic pitching coach some day too. The Nationals should sign him for that when he retires.

  6. $1529282 5 years ago

    For $1MM though, it’s worth the risk. If Hernandez starts coughing up run after run and puts up a mid-6.00s ERA, then it’s hardly a blow to the organization.

    He’s getting ahead of hitters more this year, generating more swings outside the strike zone, and relying on his curve and slider more. His fastball has become incredibly more effective. If that’s due to decreased usage and better location, it’s possible to sustain. If it’s just a fluke and he goes back to getting absolutely crushed, then so be it. The Nats waste $1MM-$2MM… there’s far worse investments a club could make.

    They’re not guaranteeing him $5MM and asking him to switch to a harder league like my stupid Twins did a few years back… haha :(

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