Well, this one didn’t take long. Late last night (or early Wednesday morning if you want to be technical about it) the Red Sox brought back one of the players they had just non-tendered. Only a little more than 24 hours after letting Marco Hernández hit the open market, they have brought the infielder back. Robert Murray of the Athletic was the first to report a deal had been struck.
Source: #RedSox in agreement with free-agent infielder Marco Hernandez. They non-tendered him on Monday.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) December 4, 2019
That Hernández was non-tendered at all was a surprise to most of us. It’s not that the infielder was so good that he had to be kept, but he was relatively young, was coming off a major injury, has some upside and fills a need for this roster. Not to mention he was very cheap. All signs pointed to him being totally safe leading up to that Monday deadline. Well, you know what they say about assuming.
As it turns out, the non-tender was a procedural move in order to save a little money. Hernández was only projected to make $700,000 in arbitration, but if he had stayed with the organization into Opening Day that becomes guaranteed. Now, according to Chris Cotillo of Masslive, they have him signed to a split contract with a base salary of $650,000. In other words, he will only be paid that pro-rated salary for the time he spends on the major-league roster. It is the kind of money-saving move that is either shrewd or cheap, depending on how you’re feeling that day.
Hernández does get placed back on the 40-man roster, which is now up to 35 players.