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Mariners To Acquire Teoscar Hernandez

Mariners To Acquire Teoscar Hernandez

9:52am: Seattle is sending right-handed reliever Erik Swanson and pitching prospect Adam Macko to the Blue Jays in the trade, Divish reports.

9:49am: TSN’s Scott Mitchell tweets that the Blue Jays will be getting bullpen help in return for Hernandez. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweets that known trade candidate Chris Flexen is not a part of this deal.

9:41am: The Mariners and Blue Jays are in agreement on a trade sending right fielder Teoscar Hernandez from Toronto to Seattle, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan (Twitter link).

Hernandez, who turned 30 a month ago, will give the Mariners a heart-of-the-order slugger who’s posted a stout .283/.333/.519 batting line with 73 home runs and 71 doubles through 1337 plate appearances over the past three seasons. Hernandez has been a Statcast darling since the time of his big league debut, regularly posting top-of-the-scale exit velocity and hard-hit rates; that was no different in 2022, when Statcast ranked him in the 94th percentile or better in hard-hit rate, average exit velocity, max exit velocity, barrel rate and expected slugging percentage.

That penchant for elite contact and plus power output from Hernandez comes at something of a cost, it should be noted. While he’s curbed his once-sky-high strikeout totals to an extent, Hernandez still fanned in 28.4% of his plate appearances last season. He got the strikeout rate all the way down to 24.9% in 2021, so there’s perhaps hope for some further gains, but as of right now that number is an outlier with regard to the rest of his career. His walk rate, meanwhile, has steadily clocked in between six and seven percent over the past few seasons — a good bit shy of league average.

Beyond the huge power potential, Hernandez possesses deceptive speed. He’s only tallied 24 steals (in 32 tries) over the past three seasons, including just six in 2022, but Hernandez’s sprint speed ranks in the 84th percentile of MLB players, per Statcast. With slightly larger bases expected to perhaps spur a bit more running in 2023, Hernandez is among the many players who could conceivably begin to take off with a bit more frequency. Hernandez is also known for having one of the game’s strongest throwing arms. Despite that speed and arm strength, however, he draws consistently below-average grades for his glovework in right field; Defensive Runs Saved and Outa Above Average have pegged him as a negative defender in each of the past four seasons. In 2022, he tallied…

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