10:10am: The Mariners have introduced the commerce.
9:52am: Seattle is sending a right-handed reliever Eric Swanson and pitching prospect Adam Macko to the Blue Jays within the commerce, Divish experiences.
9:49am: TSN’s Scott Mitchell tweets that the Blue Jays will probably be getting bullpen assist in return for Hernandez. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweets that identified commerce candidate Chris Flexen is not part of this deal.
9:41am: The Mariners and Blue Jays are in settlement on a commerce sending proper fielder Teoscar Hernandez from Toronto to Seattle, experiences ESPN’s Jeff Passan (Twitter hyperlink).
Hernandez, who turned 30 a month in the past, will give the Mariners a heart-of-the-order slugger who’s posted a stout .283/.333/.519 batting line with 73 house runs and 71 doubles by way of 1,337 plate appearances over the previous three seasons. Hernandez has been a Statcast darling because the time of his large league debut, recurrently posting top-of-the-scale exit velocity and hard-hit charges; that was no totally different in 2022, when Statcast ranked him within the 94th percentile or higher in hard-hit fee, common exit velocity, max exit velocity, barrel fee and anticipated slugging share.
That penchant for elite contact and plus energy output from Hernandez comes at one thing of a value, it ought to be famous. While he is curbed his once-sky-high strikeout totals to an extent, Hernandez nonetheless fanned in 28.4% of his plate appearances final season. He acquired the strikeout fee all the best way all the way down to 24.9% in 2021, so there’s maybe hope for some additional good points, however as of proper now that quantity is an outlier with regard to the remainder of his profession. His stroll fee, in the meantime, has steadily clocked in between six and 7 % over the previous few seasons — a very good bit shy of the league common.
Beyond the large energy potential, Hernandez possesses misleading velocity. He’s solely tallied 24 steals (in 32 makes an attempt) over the previous three seasons, together with simply six in 2022, however Hernandez’s dash velocity ranks within the 84th percentile of MLB gamers, per Statcast. With barely bigger bases anticipated to maybe spur a bit extra operating in 2023, Hernandez is among the many many gamers who may conceivably begin to take off with a bit extra frequency. Hernandez can also be identified for having one of many recreation’s strongest throwing arms. Despite that velocity and arm energy, nevertheless, he attracts persistently below-average grades for his glovework in proper area; Defensive Runs Saved and Outa Above Average have pegged him as a detrimental defender in every of the previous 4 seasons. In 2022, he tallied minus-3 DRS, minus-5 OAA and a minus-3.1 Ultimate Zone Rating.
Even if his velocity and arm do not translate to plus proper area protection, nevertheless, Hernandez has been a nicely above-average all-around participant in recent times, when trying on the sum of his elements. Both FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference peg him proper at eight wins above alternative in his previous 324 video games. Those 324 video games have come throughout three seasons, though one was the shortened 2020 marketing campaign. Generally talking, Hernandez has averted main accidents. He missed three weeks this season because of an indirect pressure and was sidelined in 2021 by a optimistic Covid take a look at (plus just a few video games on the paternity listing). Overall, nevertheless, he is performed in 84.3% of his staff’s potential video games since 2020.
Barring an extension, Hernandez will probably be a one-year rental for the Mariners — and a comparatively costly one, at that. Hernandez will attain six years of service time in 2023 and change into a free agent subsequent winter. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz initiatives a sizeable $14.1MM wage for him this season.
Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto stated eventually week’s GM Meetings that he sought not less than one outfield improve this winter, if not two. Hernandez ought to slot into proper area alongside heart fielder Julio Rodriguez, however his presence in Seattle creates some further questions. The membership selected to not make a qualifying provide Mitch Hanigeras an illustration, and whereas Hernandez’s acquisition would not squarely rule out Haniger returning to rotate by way of the outfield corners, right now’s commerce inherently makes a reunion really feel much less possible.
The Mariners should decide whether or not they’re snug with a mix of former prime prospects Jarred Kelenic, Kyle Lewis and Taylor Trammell in left area. Jesse Winker is one other left area/DH choice, though as of yesterday, the Mariners had been discussing commerce packages involving Winker. It’s straightforward sufficient to check that group, with some assist from utilitymen Dylan Moore and Sam Haggertyholding down the fort within the corners and at DH, however additional additions shouldn’t be dominated out.
The Mariners, in any case, are squarely in win-now mode. And even with Hernandez aboard, they’ve ample payroll capability; buying Hernandez is a roughly $12.7MM web add to the payroll, as Swanson had been projected by Swartz to be paid $1.4MM. They’re projected for a $143.5MM payroll following the swap, and that is a methods shy of the $162MM peak they trotted out in 2018. A return to the playoffs has possible boosted income a bit, and MLB has agreed to varied profitable streaming offers that afford every staff appreciable sums of cash within the 5 years since that beforehand established file payroll.
More to come back.