TODAY: The Red Sox officially announced the two-year contract. Hernandez has a $6MM salary in 2021 and an $8MM salary in 2022, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, although the contract carries some heavy deferrals despite its affordable nature. Heyman indicates that $1.5MM of that 2021 salary will be paid in $250K installments from 2027-32, while $1MM of the 2022 salary will be paid in $250K installments from 2033-36.
JANUARY 22, 9:43pm: The contract includes deferrals, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets.
7:24pm: It’s a two-year, $14MM pact for Hernandez, Feinsand reports. As Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com points out, this is the biggest free-agent deal chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has given out since he took over Boston’s front office last offseason.
7:00pm: Boston has agreed to a multiyear deal with Hernandez, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. Hernandez is a Wasserman client.
A Boston-Hernandez agreement wouldn’t come as any surprise, as the two sides have been linked in rumors for at least the past few weeks. Plus, as Morosi notes, Red Sox manager Alex Cora was Team Puerto Rico’s GM in the 2017 World Baseball Classic when Hernandez was part of the club.
The 29-year-old Hernandez was a sixth-round pick of the Astros in 2009, but he has since been part of trades that have sent him to the Marlins and Dodgers. He found a home in Los Angeles from 2014-20, where he proved to be a useful cog as someone capable of playing all over the diamond (primarily second baseman and the outfield). He also recorded roughly league-average offensive production as a member of the Dodgers, with whom he batted .240/.312/.425 (98 wRC+) with 68 home runs 1,874 plate appearances. However, Hernandez’s numbers tailed off from 2019-20, so he shouldn’t come at an especially high price this offseason.
If he does join the Red Sox, Hernandez would be an obvious candidate to get significant reps at second base, where the club finished 25th in fWAR (minus-0.2) last season. Michael Chavis and Christian Arroyo are the only healthy second basemen on Boston’s 40-man roster at the moment. Of course, they also some have questions with Jackie Bradley Jr. a free agent and Andrew Benintendi a trade candidate, so Hernandez could also be a factor in the grass.