Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Ex-M’s ace Félix Hernández has minor league deal with Braves

ATLANTA (AP) — Longtime Seattle Mariners ace Félix Hernández reached a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves on Monday that includes an invite to big league spring training.

The right-hander would get a $1 million, one-year contract if added to Atlanta’s 40-man roster.

Hernández, who turns 34 in April, is coming off his worst season in the majors. King Felix went 1-8 with a 6.40 ERA in 15 starts for the Mariners and lost his place in the rotation.

 

 

QLE Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:38 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, felix hernandez

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5917792)
This seems 100% doomed to me, not gonna lie. Felix doesn't have a fastball anymore and the Braves are going to have a million young pitchers fighting for that rotation spot, too.
   2. flournoy Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:38 PM (#5917813)
Apparently Hernandez is very hard-headed, and was unwilling to listen to his coaches or make adjustments during his later Seattle days. I'm hopeful that having to resort to signing a minor league deal and competing for a roster spot will give him the kick he needs to realize something needs to change. And if not, then he'll get released and that'll be that. Sounds good to me.
   3. bbmck Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:01 PM (#5917821)
Adam Wainwright moves into 2nd place in pitching WAR among active pitchers who have only played for one MLB franchise whether Felix is inactive or makes the Braves roster. Strasburg and deGrom are probably Top 3 by the end of the season barring a trade. Above 21 pitching WAR, single franchise and pitched in 2019:

65.4 - Clayton Kershaw, 2/62 left on contract
50.2 - Felix Hernandez, minor league deal with Braves
36.0 - Adam Wainwright, signed for 1/5 with up to $5mil in bonuses
33.2 - Corey Kluber, traded to Rangers
32.7 - Jacob deGrom, signed for 3/96, 4/128.5 or 5/161
32.6 - Stephen Strasburg, signed for 7/245
32.5 - Madison Bumgarner, signed with Diamondbacks

Carlos Carrasco and Kyle Hendricks 20.6 pitching WAR will be tied for 5th in single franchise pitching WAR and are tied for 25th assuming only CC Sabathia retires. Pretty sure that Felix and Ervin Santana 25.9 are the only ones without an MLB contract for 2020.
   4. Accent Shallow hits your blindside Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:02 PM (#5917822)
Apparently Hernandez is very hard-headed, and was unwilling to listen to his coaches or make adjustments during his later Seattle days. I'm hopeful that having to resort to signing a minor league deal and competing for a roster spot will give him the kick he needs to realize something needs to change. And if not, then he'll get released and that'll be that. Sounds good to me.


Concur. Or not listening to the Braves' coaching, then getting released, will give him the kick with someone else. I'd really like him to have a strong second act to his career.
   5. Zonk Hasn't Learned his Aspirational Lesson Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:05 PM (#5917823)
Yeah, he's probably done anyway.... but Atlanta seems like the absolute worst place for him... who knows, though - maybe it's the best he could get and he's mainly in it for the audition.
   6. Rally Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:09 PM (#5917826)
I would not have guessed Carrasco was anywhere on the list, would have guessed he had at least a few innings with the Phillies. He was in their system for parts of 6 seasons, on many prospect lists, and made it to AAA. Was part of the first Cliff Lee trade. But yeah, all his big league time is with Cleveland.
   7. caspian88 Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:16 PM (#5917830)
The King has gone into exile.
   8. JJ1986 Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:21 PM (#5917835)
4 of those 9 guys were traded as minor leaguers and now it's 3 of the 6 left.
   9. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:24 PM (#5917839)
Any chance Felix reinvents himself as a reliever? If you've lost a few ticks on your fastball, not trying to throw it 75 times per game sounds like a good idea.

It'd be fun, but I concur with popular opinion: he's done.
   10. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:49 PM (#5917860)
Apparently Hernandez is very hard-headed, and was unwilling to listen to his coaches or make adjustments during his later Seattle days. I'm hopeful that having to resort to signing a minor league deal and competing for a roster spot will give him the kick he needs to realize something needs to change.


Being blunt, I think his physical abilities have declined to the point that it no longer matters whether or not he listens to his coaches.

Guess we'll see.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 21, 2020 at 02:19 PM (#5917871)
Any chance Felix reinvents himself as a reliever? If you've lost a few ticks on your fastball, not trying to throw it 75 times per game sounds like a good idea.


He's throwing 90. Does 92 get it done in the pen?
   12. bbmck Posted: January 21, 2020 at 02:31 PM (#5917876)
Born since 1945 to line up with the draft and end of the reserve clause and at least 30 career pitching WAR is 109 pitchers. These are the only ones who didn't have 2+ pitching WAR with another franchise:

Madison Bumgarner: massive disappointment if this remains true
Jacob deGrom: single franchise since being drafted 9-272
Larry Dierker: traded before a final season of 39.1 IP and -0.4 WAR with STL
Mark Gubicza: traded before a final season of 4.2 IP and -0.6 WAR with ANA and signs with LAD after final MLB game

Ron Guidry: single franchise since being drafted 3-67
Felix Hernandez: not likely to pitch well for another franchise
Teddy Higuera: single franchise since being purchased from Ciudad Juarez (Mexican)
Clayton Kershaw: single franchise since being drafted 1-7
Corey Kluber: massive disappointment if this remains true

Jim Palmer: single franchise since signing as amateur free agent
Brad Radke: single franchise since being drafted 8-206
Jose Rijo: drafted by NYY 62.1 IP and -0.5 WAR, traded to OAK 339.2 IP and -0.9 WAR, traded to CIN
Mariano Rivera: single franchise since signing as amateur free agent

Steve Rogers: signed with CAL and CHW after final MLB game
John Smoltz: drafted by DET, traded to ATL, signs with BOS 40 IP and -0.8 WAR and STL 38 IP and 0.3 WAR at end of career
Dave Stieb: signs with CHW 22.1 IP and -0.4 WAR and KCR near end of career
Stephen Strasburg: single franchise since being drafted 1-1

Adam Wainwright: drafted by ATL, traded to STL
Jered Weaver: signs with SDP 42.1 IP and -1.2 WAR at end of career
Brandon Webb: signed with TEX after final MLB game
Carlos Zambrano: traded to MIA 132.1 IP and 0.7 WAR and signs with PHI after final MLB game
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2020 at 02:57 PM (#5917879)
He's throwing 90. Does 92 get it done in the pen?


If anything, that's generous. His average fastball hasn't been 90 since 2017.
   14. The Duke Posted: January 21, 2020 at 03:15 PM (#5917884)
I guess King Félix has to become Chief Félix now
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 21, 2020 at 03:24 PM (#5917888)
If anything, that's generous. His average fastball hasn't been 90 since 2017.

Just going by FG, they have his avg. fastball at 90.4.
   16. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2020 at 03:33 PM (#5917889)
Weird - that's where I got it from, too.

I guess it depends which table you use. I was looking at this one, but now that you mention it, I also see the one that you meant.
   17. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: January 21, 2020 at 03:59 PM (#5917903)
Yeah, he's probably done anyway.... but Atlanta seems like the absolute worst place for him... who knows, though - maybe it's the best he could get and he's mainly in it for the audition.


Small sample size, but the Braves have made some hay with Anibal Sanchez in 2018 and Josh Tomlin last year. Both of those guys came to the Braves following 2-3 years of similar (poor) ERA+ to Felix's last 3 seasons. They are/were around the same age, too.
   18. bfan Posted: January 21, 2020 at 04:08 PM (#5917907)
Will Felix be the first to go into the HOF with a Gwinnett Stripers hat?
   19. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: January 21, 2020 at 04:47 PM (#5917929)
If I'm the Braves I make my call before games start. If he doesn't have some measure of his stuff back it almost certainly isn't worth it to try and find out if he can reinvent himself as a finesse pitcher. Not when you have half a dozen kids ready to give it a go.
   20. bfan Posted: January 21, 2020 at 05:00 PM (#5917939)
If I'm the Braves I make my call before games start. If he doesn't have some measure of his stuff back it almost certainly isn't worth it to try and find out if he can reinvent himself as a finesse pitcher. Not when you have half a dozen kids ready to give it a go.


Look at Snitker's usage patterns; he loves them cagey veterans on the mound, unless the evidence overwhelmingly says "use my fresher arm.".
   21. Walt Davis Posted: January 21, 2020 at 06:39 PM (#5917984)
Felix may have taken this deal to work with a specific coach or because of what's mentioned in #17. Such contracts usually have out clauses if he isn't added to the 40-man, either by opening day or May 15 or something. Point being this might not be the team where he has the best chance of sticking, but it might be the best place for him to improve enough that some other team will give him that chance.

I'm curious what evidence there is that he's not listening to coaches on how to become a better finesse pitcher. His FB% has dropped to 40% of his pitches vs 60% in his prime. His CB usage used to be around 10-15%, has been over 20% the last few years and was a whopping 35% last year. His use of the change also went up before being swapped more for the curve last year. His pitch selection changed in the standard way as the FB velocity dropped from mid-90s to low-90s to 90. He also used to have 2-3 more MPH on his slider and has moved away from that as velocity dropped.

If the "pitch run values" at fangraphs are anything to go by, if coaches were telling him to throw more FBs, that was a terrible idea. Possibly he should have moved more towards sliders than curveballs. But the primary problem the last few years is none of his pitches seem to be much good.

Anyway, was he not working the corners as much as they wanted? Was he throwing 1st pitch FBs more often than they wanted? Was he throwing curveballs to guys who can't hit sliders? Cuz based on pitch selection, he's tried to transform himself into a finesse pitcher, it just hasn't worked.

Not sure who we consider a faded finesse pitcher now. Hendricks survives just fine throwing a sub-90 FB 60% of the time and his change 30%. When CC's velocity dropped, he kept throwing the FB 55% of the time and that didn't go well and he dropped his FB% below 40 and eventually below 20. But he replaced it with a cutter and a few more sliders and fewer curves. Has Felix refused to learn a cutter? (Or has CC always thrown a cutter but fangraphs couldn't track them until recently? If so then he likely had very little change in his selection.) Anibal Sanchez has a similar FB to cutter pattern as CC and pretty much dropped his slider, boosting his change.

So yeah, Felix should try to add a cutter to his pitches and if he's been advised to do so the last few years, that was a bad decision on his part.
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2020 at 06:42 PM (#5917987)
Not sure who we consider a faded finesse pitcher now.


Jered Weaver, though he faded past the point where he was MLB-viable.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: January 21, 2020 at 09:24 PM (#5918051)
Braves do seem like a weird team to go to, they are a legitimate contender, in reality his goal would be to go to a crap team, be given a chance to start, prove himself to get traded to a contender, and then parlay that into a 3 year 30mil deal or something like that if he is optimistic. Braves just don't seem like a team that will really have room for him or willing to make room for him unless he absolutely shines.
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: January 21, 2020 at 09:27 PM (#5918053)
pretty much any decent SP would make a very good closer. but let's test the waters with Felix and see if a formerly-excellent-now-toast SP can do it, too!
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: January 21, 2020 at 09:35 PM (#5918057)
pretty much any decent SP would make a very good closer. but let's test the waters with Felix and see if a formerly-excellent-now-toast SP can do it, too!


If that is his plan, then more power to him, go the Eckersley route.(heck it would be funny if Wainwright ends up putting up 30 saves this year and continues his career as a closer as he's really too young to willfully call it quits---same here with Felix)

Honestly... I wouldn't be surprised if the Eckersley route becomes more common, be a pretty good pitcher for number of years, lose a bit, and return as a closer for 5 or so years to cement your reputation. It's convincing the guys who have 300 career starts in their career to make that transistion.
   26. Lars6788 Posted: January 21, 2020 at 10:36 PM (#5918088)
I'm curious what evidence there is that he's not listening to coaches on how to become a better finesse pitcher.


This is thrown out as if Felix is lazy when he has been an accomplished MLB pitcher - more likely the innings caught up with him and you are only as consistent year-in, year-out until that isn’t the case anymore.
   27. baxter Posted: January 21, 2020 at 10:40 PM (#5918090)
Re 21, yes, could he re-invent himself; thinking of Tiant and Tanana; each of which was younger than Hernandez (Tanana especially)?

Tiant was not as bad as I thought he had been; I wonder if the change in mound height affected him more than it did other pitchers.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Chicago Joe
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-19-2020
(44 - 11:53am, Feb 19)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogDisciplining Astros not as easy for MLB as Altuve revealing a tattoo
(27 - 11:48am, Feb 19)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogRob Manfred offers little insight, shows contempt for reporters in press conference
(115 - 11:36am, Feb 19)
Last: Barry`s_Lazy_Boy

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (February 2020)
(126 - 11:25am, Feb 19)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogHow will the Red Sox market a Mookie-less team? - The Boston Globe
(69 - 11:20am, Feb 19)
Last: Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread 2020
(1379 - 10:56am, Feb 19)
Last: jmurph

NewsblogPosnanski: Baseball 100 Rules
(635 - 10:56am, Feb 19)
Last: Baldrick

NewsblogOakland Athletics off the radio waves in the Bay Area, commit to A’s Cast stream
(20 - 10:27am, Feb 19)
Last: Vitor Artur

NewsblogYankees’ Brett Gardner wants fan making bizarre sexual claims kept away from his family, MLB stadiums
(5 - 9:53am, Feb 19)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogFeinstein: In the Astros scandal, Rob Manfred has taken a bad situation and made it worse (WaPo)
(4 - 9:48am, Feb 19)
Last: Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66)

NewsblogOT - Soccer Thread - January, 2020
(596 - 9:36am, Feb 19)
Last: AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-18-2020
(34 - 8:03am, Feb 19)
Last: Der-K: at 10% emotional investment

NewsblogWhitley's new strategy: Less work, more weight
(6 - 1:26am, Feb 19)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogPederson, Stripling back to work with Dodgers after no trade
(8 - 10:10pm, Feb 18)
Last: akrasian

NewsblogRosenthal: Carlos Correa rips Bellinger, passionately defends Altuve and says the Astros deserve their 2017 title – The Athletic
(78 - 8:43pm, Feb 18)
Last: bobm

Page rendered in 0.3575 seconds
48 querie(s) executed