ESPN’s Buster Olney brings up one available starting pitcher we haven’t mentioned here anytime recently: Livan Hernandez. It hadn’t really occurred to me that the Diamondbacks could be sellers. But according to various playoff odds reports, their chances of making the playoffs have slipped to 3-8%. Our good friend Jeff Sackmann took a look at teams on the bubble in a recent column at Hardball Times and recommended the Diamondbacks sell off players such as Hernandez, Eric Byrnes, and Orlando Hudson.
Hernandez reaches free agency after this season, and it seems likely the D’Backs would let him leave. Trading him now could make some sense. He’s got about $2.7MM left on his contract this year. As Olney says, Hernandez’s main virtue is durability. He will take the ball every fifth day and give you six innings. He’s no longer the seven inning per start horse he was from 1998-2005; his average is now around 6.3 innings per start.
As far as playoff experience…would a team like the Mets really want to give him a playoff start? I wouldn’t think so. No doubt the NLCS MVP version we saw in ’97 is a distant memory, and even his work for the Giants in ’02 is five years removed.
Olney believes strong offensive NL teams like the Braves, Mets, or Phillies could take a look at Livan. The Brewers, Dodgers, and Padres may also be looking to add a starter.