The Phillies have avoided arbitration with second baseman Cesar Hernandez by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.55MM, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports (on Twitter). As MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker shows, that sum lands just north of the midpoint between Hernandez’s $2.8MM filing number and the $2.2MM figure at which the Phillies countered. Hernandez, a client of Octagon, will receive $50K more than the $2.5MM salary projection of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz.
Hernandez, 26, was arbitration-eligible for the first time as a Super Two player this offseason after wrapping up the year with two years and 154 days of Major League service time. The 2016 campaign proved to be a breakout year for the young switch-hitter, as he batted .294/.371/.393 with six homers, 17 stolen bases and an NL-leading 11 triples in 622 plate appearances. Hernandez also played decidedly above-average defense at second base, further adding to his value for the Phils.
That excellent performance prompted a fair share of trade speculation surrounding Hernandez this offseason, and he was at one point connected to both the Dodgers and Angels. However, it now seems likely that Hernandez will open 2017 with the Phillies, who can control him through the 2020 season. He’ll be eligible for arbitration in each of the next three offseasons in the meantime.