Update: 8:04 PM ET
After reports earlier in the day that the Red Sox were interested in Enrique Hernández, it seems an agreement has come into place. We don’t have all the details just yet, but it looks like a multi-year deal according to Mark Feinsand’s report.
The Red Sox and INF/OF Enrique Hernández have agreed to a multi-year deal, per source.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 23, 2021
Update (8:25 PM ET)
It is a two-year deal worth $14 million total.
Per source, Hernandez’s deal with the Red Sox is for two years and $14 million. https://t.co/59edxPM6nM— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 23, 2021
Earlier today, the Padres acquired yet another player, this time bringing back free agent Jurickson Profar on a three-year deal. I bring that up because Profar was yet another player we learned the Red Sox had interest in before signing elsewhere. He would have fit a hole for the Red Sox at second base while also having the versatility to be able to fill in elsewhere around the diamond, most notably in the outfield. Well, Enrique Hernández fits that profile as well, and it seems the Red Sox may actually get that one done. According to a report from Jon Morosi, Boston has “momentum” towards a deal with Hernández, and a deal could come before the end of the weekend.
Enrique Hernández and the #RedSox have momentum on a deal that could be complete before the weekend is over, sources say. Alex Cora, as GM, selected Hernández for Team Puerto Rico at the 2017 @WBCBaseball. @MLBNetwork @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 22, 2021
To this point, Hernández has spent the bulk of his major-league career with the Dodgers after being drafted by the Astros and later being traded twice in the span of six months in 2014. That series of events ended with him in L.A., though, and he spent six seasons there including 2020 when he helped them win a title.
With the Red Sox, Hernández would likely fill multiple roles. The 29-year-old (he won’t turn 30 until the end of August) has logged the most innings of any position at second base, which is good for the Red Sox who are looking to add to a group that currently includes Christian Arroyo and Michael Chavis along with depth options in Jonathan Araúz and Yairo Muñoz. In addition to the keystone position, though, Hernández has played every other position besides catcher, including a third of an inning on the mound. Even just looking at 2020, he played everywhere except catcher, pitcher and third base.
At the plate, Hernández certainly wouldn’t be the key in Boston’s order, but he has had his moments with the bat. The last two seasons have been a bit rough, having finished with an 83 wRC+_last year and an 88 wRC+ in 2019, with those years coming off his career-best 2018 in which he finished with a 118 wRC+ in 145 games. Projections on his FanGraphs page peg him to be a bit better than his previous two seasons, though still safely below-average, which seems like a fair assessment. It’s also worth noting he can excel if limited to a platoon role, as Hernández carries a career 120 wRC+ against lefties and a career mark of 82 against righties.
Ultimately, however, a platoon role would be unlikely if this deal were to come to fruition. Instead, he would likely split time at second base with the aforementioned Arroyo while also spelling the outfielders. Presumably most of his time in the outfield would come with a left-handed pitcher on the mound, particularly if the team also re-signs Jackie Bradley Jr. But we’ll let the deal actually happen before we dedicate too much brainpower into the specifics of his super utility role.
It’s also worth noting, as Morosi does above, that Hernández has played for Cora for the Puerto Rican WBC team in 2017, and generally has been regarded as a positive clubhouse presence from his time with the Dodgers.
FanGraphs readers predicted a two-year deal worth $12 million total for Hernández, though it appears they’ve come in a bit low on average this winter with their predictions.