Outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and right-hander Josh A. Smith both were both sent outright to Triple-A Pawtucket after clearing waivers Friday, per the International League transactions log. Both 32-year-olds have been previously outrighted, thus allowing them to elect free agency. There’s been no formal declaration that they’ll do so, although it’s largely a formality a this point.
Hernandez appeared in 20 games with the Sox, hitting .143/.218/.245 in 57 plate appearances. The fleet-footed center fielder had spent the prior three seasons with the Giants and has played in parts of six seasons at the MLB level. In 1091 plate appearances between the Red Sox, Giants, Pirates and Marlins, he’s a .230/.292/.351 hitter who’s drawn above-average defensive ratings in the outfield corners but below-average marks in center field. Hernandez would’ve been eligible for arbitration this winter and was projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $1MM in 2020. Instead, he’ll likely hit the open market in search of a new minor league contract.
Smith, meanwhile, has spent time in the Majors in four of the past five seasons. He was hit hard with the Sox in ’19, posting a 5.81 ERA with 10 home runs allowed in just 31 innings (albeit with a more impressive 29-to-8 K/BB ratio). He’s tallied 158 1/3 innings of 5.40 ERA ball between the Reds, A’s and Red Sox since making his debut in 2015. A former 21st-round pick, Smith has also pitched in parts of six Triple-A seasons and logged a 4.41 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 483 1/3 innings.