TODAY: Hernandez and the Red Sox have “been discussing potential contract parameters” but no formal offer has been made, the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier writes. The team’s “engagement with Hernandez picked up” after Yoshinobu Yamamoto signed with the Dodgers, as the Sox had been one of the other suitors monitoring Yamamoto’s market.
DECEMBER 22: The Red Sox and Angels are both showing interest in outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Hernandez’s market has been fairly quiet since the offseason started last month, as slugger Shohei Ohtani dominated the positional market for much of the offseason to this point while the outfield market has seen most of its activity come from trades, with players like Juan Soto, Alex Verdugo, and Jarred Kelenic changing hands.
Hernandez, 31, is coming off a down season at the plate during which he slashed just .258/.305/.435 (105 wRC+) as a member of the Mariners. With that being said, the slugger still managed to crush 26 home runs last season and entered 2023 with a whopping .283/.333/.519 slash line since the start of the 2020 campaign. That slash line is good for a 133 wRC+, tied with Austin Riley for the 20th best figure in the majors across the 2020-22 seasons. With a stable, above-average offensive floor and a tantalizing, All Star-caliber ceiling, Hernandez ranked 12th on MLBTR’s annual Top 50 MLB free agents list, where we projected him for a four-year, $80MM contract.
Either team is a fairly plausible fit for Hernandez. The Angels have a fairly healthy outfield mix that features superstar Mike Trout in center field with Taylor Ward and Mickey Moniak as the club’s top corner options, backed up by the likes of Jo Adell and Luis Rengifo. That being said, Rosenthal also reports that Rengifo, Ward, and Moniak are all garnering trade interest from other clubs. Moving even one of those players could provide an open for Hernandez to take a corner outfield spot on an everyday basis. Even if the club decides not to move on from any of the bats currently in its outfield mix, the addition of Hernandez and his reliable 25 to 30 home run power would go a long way to replacing the 44 dingers Ohtani smacked this past season.
As for Boston, the club shipped Verdugo to the Bronx earlier in the offseason before replacing him with Tyler O’Neill in a trade with the Cardinals. That leaves the club with O’Neill, Jarren Duran, Wilyer Abreu, and Rob Refsnyder to mix-and-match…