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Monday, September 05, 2022

Sources: Boston Red Sox reach 1-year, $10 million extension with Enrique Hernandez

Center fielder Enrique Hernández and the Boston Red Sox agreed on a one-year, $10 million contract extension Monday, keeping the 31-year-old in the city where he starred in the 2021 postseason, sources told ESPN.

A hip-flexor injury sidelined Hernández for more than two months this season and contributed to his struggles on the field after his career year in 2021. Hernández is batting .219 with a .637 OPS and has only six home runs in more than 300 plate appearances in the final season of a two-year, $14 million contract.

Hernández was due to hit free agency this winter and was coming off a season in which he hit .250/.337/.449, played elite defense in center field and compiled 4.9 Baseball-Reference wins above replacement (and 4.1 from FanGraphs).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 05, 2022 at 11:52 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: enrique hernandez, red sox

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   1. John Reynard Posted: September 06, 2022 at 06:08 AM (#6094713)
This is a weird signing in my opinion. Hernandez has always been a decent-enough player who made a ton of his value through versatility, particularly by being able to play OF and 2B/SS. If this is a play to make it less painful when Bogaerts walks, I mean, why not just play Arroyo and save $9M? If you're letting Bogaerts walk, you're not serious about winning in 2023 imho, or, you're signing Correa in which case, you have no use for Hernandez. If you just want him for CF, sign an actual CF better than Hernandez for $10M. TB is about to waive theirs for example and he has less questions surrounding his future than Hernandez (though he has some).
   2. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 06, 2022 at 06:19 AM (#6094714)
Hernandez has been hurt much of the year, and hasn't been great when he's been in the lineup (although about league-average since coming back last month). For a guy on the wrong side of 30, coming off of a season like this, was there really going to be demand for him? $10m for a year - so he's getting a raise off of this year?

I feat this is the beginning of another bridge season in 2023. At some point, you need to believe there is a destination on the other side of that bridge.
   3. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: September 06, 2022 at 07:34 AM (#6094717)
It's weird to lock up a 4th OF before you have the rest of the OF set.
   4. jmurph Posted: September 06, 2022 at 07:58 AM (#6094718)
The extension announcement we've all been waiting for.
   5. Textbook Editor Posted: September 06, 2022 at 10:24 AM (#6094730)
This isn't terrible, but at some point a million here and a million there on these little things add up to real money you could offer X/Devers on their extensions... Speaking of extensions:

Where are we with a Wacha extension? Coming off this year, I would guess he's gonna get at least 2-year deal for good $ from someone, so he's probably gone.

Paxton's contract is an odd one: if I'm reading Cot's correctly, he either exercises a 1/$4 mil player option OR the Red Sox have to exercise options for BOTH 2023 & 2024 at $13 mil each (2/$26). I'm sort of assuming the Red Sox would not follow up this year's $10 mil flyer with a 2/$26 flyer but who knows. I would also guess Paxton might be able to do better than 1/$4 on the open market so I'm assuming he'd decline the player option. But who knows. Again, though: $10 mil flushed down the drain that could have gone towards an X/Devers extension.

If Pham has a mutual $6 mil option, and the Red Sox exercise it but Pham does not, I'm assuming the $1.5 mil buyout doesn't come into play? I'd lean towards keeping him but suspect he'll think he can get a better deal.

Assuming the Red Sox are satisfied his shoulder is OK going forward, I'm on the fence for giving Eovaldi a QO. I suspect he'd turn it down, but it wouldn't be completely awful if he took it. I have no sense of what the market would be for a guy like him at this point in his career given his injury profile.

I've seen some suggestions in national press that the Red Sox should make the QO to JD. I... would not do that.

   6. Lonnie Smith for president Posted: September 06, 2022 at 10:44 AM (#6094734)
Good on the player -- getting paid is better than not.

As for the front office, um, who exactly were they bidding against for Hernandez's services? Even if he's a perfect (to their mind) fit for the roster going forward, why wouldn't they take their chances this winter? I suppose it supports the "there just isn't money to keep Devers and/or Bogaerts and/or whoever is being run out of town right now" narrative, but dang. That's pretty ruthless stuff for a franchise swimming in revenue like Scrooge McDuck does backstrokes in his vaulted coin collection.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 06, 2022 at 11:39 AM (#6094744)
This seems like the kinda guy the Royals would overpay on so, thanks Chaim.
   8. Darren Posted: September 06, 2022 at 12:19 PM (#6094751)
This seems somewhat high at first glance but Hernandez was a 4-WAR player last year and although it's been a lost season for him, he seems to be finishing strong. He is versatile in the field, which disguises his excellence as an everyday center fielder. In 1267 innings over the past two years, UZR has him at +9.9 runs in CF.

In spite of his struggles and injury this year, both ZIPS and Steamer project him as above average for the rest of the season, so they likely would have him as something close to that next year. For 1 year/$10 mil, that's a pretty reasonable value.
   9. Jay Seaver Posted: September 06, 2022 at 12:45 PM (#6094756)
I've kind of talked myself into being okay with this over the last 24 hours - if Bloom & company don't think Jarren Duran is going to be able to handle center or right field, then the outfield is more or less the same house of cards that had them bringing JBJ back this season: Pham is a potential free agent, and Verdugo, Cordero, and Refsnyder are all looking at their first years of arbitration and Verdugo's the only one I'm sure they'll offer a contract to. There's not a major-league-quality outfield to be called up from Worcester and the plan is hopefully to use the off-season's big free-agent money to sign Bogaerts and/or Devers long-term. Hernandez has been bad at the plate, but he's been hurt enough that I can see him bouncing back.

It doesn't feel like the sort of signing the Red Sox should be making at this point, but it also feels like not nailing something like this down early puts you at risk of an Alex Verdugo-Jarren Duran-Jaylin Davis outfield in 2023 if nothing breaks right in the offseason.
   10. Darren Posted: September 06, 2022 at 12:50 PM (#6094757)
Per Baseball Reference, Pham has a $6 mil mutual option with a $1.5 mil buyout. How does that work? If he exercises his side, the Red Sox have to buy him out? What if the Red Sox exercise their side?
   11. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 06, 2022 at 02:13 PM (#6094772)
Pham has a $6 mil mutual option with a $1.5 mil buyout. How does that work? If he exercises his side, the Red Sox have to buy him out? What if the Red Sox exercise their side?
It’s somewhat counter-intuitive, but even if a player declines a mutual or player option, he still gets the buyout.
   12. Addie Joss Posted: September 06, 2022 at 03:00 PM (#6094783)
. . . . which makes it more likely that the Red Sox will offer the 6 million to Pham (since it's only an extra 4.5 million to the Sox) and correspondingly less likely that Pham would accept the 6 million (since it's only 4.5 million extra to him). And who makes more in 2023, Pham or Joc Pederson?
   13. The Duke Posted: September 06, 2022 at 03:24 PM (#6094789)
Seems like the kind of deal you should want a lot of. Good, versatile players one year contracts. Can't see how this impacts the bigger fish they need to fry other than tangible evidence a teardown isn't underway
   14. Walt Davis Posted: September 06, 2022 at 05:13 PM (#6094819)
Or it's tangible evidence that the Sox have given up on extending X and Devers and a teardown is underway. Generally, this contract makes perfect sense if they're planning a big run in 2023 (what other CFs are even on the market) or if they're planning a drive for 75 or they're planning to tank but know they need a few legit MLers around to keep the fans from full-out revolt. In short, pretty much a signing that any team other than the Rays (smart and cheap) and Pirates (just cheap) could make.

Anyway, it's an interesting set of decisions. Not exactly identical players but the Dodgers had Hernandez (very good IF/OF), Chris Taylor (very good IF/OF) and Max Muncy (very good 1B/2B/3B). They first signed Muncy to a 3/$26 arb buyout (through age 31) with a $13 M option for 2023 ... that option has since become guaranteed with a $10-14 option added (size of the option based on incentives). They let Hernandez walk and he got just 2/$14 for ages 29-30, far less than Muncy's buyout and option ... and here he's still getting a good bit less than Muncy despite being a year younger. Then they re-signed Taylor for 4/$60 through age 34 which kinda makes no sense (and year 1 has not gone well). Coincidentally enough, none of them have been very good this year.

Muncy 2020-22 (29-31): 6.9 WAR for $26 plus 1/$13 + 1/$10-14 to go (those are the years covered by the original buyout)
Hernandez 20-22 (28-30): 6.4 WAR for $20 plus 1/$10 to go
Taylor 20-22 (29-31): 4.9 WAR for $28.5 plus 3/$45 to go

The wrong guy's getting paid. :-) A few million here, a few million there and it starts to add up -- Dodger owners may have to wait an extra year for their next super-yacht.
   15. Jay Seaver Posted: September 06, 2022 at 05:24 PM (#6094820)
(what other CFs are even on the market)


Well, there's Jackie Br--

(pulled off stage by large shepherd's crook)
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 06, 2022 at 05:24 PM (#6094821)
Center fielder Enrique Hernández and the Boston Red Sox agreed on a one-year, $10 million contract extension Monday
So the Red Sox won’t be bidding on Aaron Judge? That’s OK.
   17. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 06, 2022 at 06:54 PM (#6094840)
if Bloom & company don't think Jarren Duran is going to be....a MLB player


At this stage Duran is not a MLB player. A .280 OBP and a K rate above 30% is acceptable if you're slugging .500 and playing CF like Devon White. Duran is not, nor do I think will ever good enough to be a starter on a MLB team. He's already 26.

Hernandez has shown he has a decent ceiling and if you get 2 WAR out of him next year, then $10 mil is a bargain.

   18. Nasty Nate Posted: September 06, 2022 at 07:44 PM (#6094853)
Just for fun, Hernandez's age 24 and 25 don't look that different from Duran's.
   19. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 06, 2022 at 08:08 PM (#6094855)
Just for fun, Hernandez's age 24 and 25 don't look that different from Duran's.


That's a bit misleading. His age 23 was pretty good in only 76 games and his age 25 was reasonable. He had a poor age 24(was he injured?) then really broke out at 26. He was showing a higher ceiling then Duran ever did and the K rate was always about a 1/3 lower and he never had negative DWAR.

Hernandez has always been the better player at every age thus far. Now if Duran breaks out at 26, I'll concede some ground.
   20. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: September 06, 2022 at 08:16 PM (#6094860)
Maybe 10M isn't a lot of money in today's game, but it seems like a lot for a guy who has never had 2 good years in a row in his MLB career.
   21. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 06, 2022 at 09:40 PM (#6094879)
it seems like a lot for a guy who has never had 2 good years in a row in his MLB career.


So then they've lined it up perfectly since this year was not good and last year was, so he's due next year!

1 year, $10 mil is really a tiny commitment and does not in any way prevent them from offering Devers a Riley type of contract and extending Xander on Story money or a little bit more.

What they really need to do is to figure out how to build a decent effing pen. They are near the bottom in both ERA and blown saves so they have lost a sh*t-ton of games in the last 3 innings.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: September 06, 2022 at 10:32 PM (#6094900)
#16 ... Judge could play another 10 years in CF, even win a couple of GG and my brain would still think of him as a RF. It's his own damn fault for being that big.

A .280 OBP and a K rate above 30% is acceptable if you're slugging .500 and playing CF like Devon White.

Armas was pretty good out there but not Devon White good. :-) (Yes, Armas only K'd 22% of the time but in a 14% league.)

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