Enrique Hernandez extended for 2023, 10M

DeadlySplitter

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Bloom saw the writing on the wall like we did that we still needed a stopgap for 2023 in the outfield. Pretty big raise from 7M but it shouldn't dent anything. More infield insurance also
 

scottyno

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No brainer deal, pretty unlikely he's worth much less than that, and a decent chance he's worth a fair amount more
 

curly2

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Like the move. 2021 was probably a career year, but a slightly lesser version of that is still a very good player. Kiké's injury was a huge blow to the team this year.
 

TapeAndPosts

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Good. Would love to see Kiké not end his Sox career with such a whimper after such a great 2021.

In an offseason-to-be with lots of holes to fill, this is one less.
 

Sin Duda

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Considering he can play SS, 2B, and CF anywhere between competently and expertly, he deserves $10M if he doesn't hit at all. Anything close to 2021 is a big win for the Sox.
 

nattysez

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Nice pillow contract that could set him up for one last multi-year deal if he has a great age-31 season. Great deal for both sides, I think.
 

chawson

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Love it. Makes a ton of sense. His teammates love him, his injury is behind him and I’m happy to have him back.

Hopefully this signals we’re not in the running for Nimmo, who lacks right field arm strength, but who knows.
 

scottyno

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Pretty small sample size, but he's hitting really well since he's come back, if he kept that up for another month someone would have offered him more than 1-10.
 

Harry Hooper

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Solid move. Now Bloom needs to add a starting OF who can hit 30+ home runs.
 

AB in DC

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Guessing this says more about Duran than about Kike.

$10m for a season like 2022 is a massive overpay, but if the alternative is Duran then sign me up.
 

Sprowl

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Bridge to Ceddanne, as well as an all-around positive influence with a high ceiling. How high? His 2021 playoff line of .423/.837/1.260 in 11 games and 49 at-bats was outta sight.

He plays an eminently respectable shortstop too.
 

scottyno

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Guessing this says more about Duran than about Kike.

$10m for a season like 2022 is a massive overpay, but if the alternative is Duran then sign me up.
Good thing he won't be expected to miss half the season again in 2023. Even if he put up the same offensive line as this year, which is also well below expected, if he stays healthy he'd still be worth close to $10m just for his defense.
 

YTF

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Yep safe to say Duran is done here.
Not sure if it means that he's done, but he's clearly not plan A.
Bridge to Ceddanne, as well as an all-around positive influence with a high ceiling. How high? His 2021 playoff line of .423/.837/1.260 in 11 games and 49 at-bats was outta sight.

He plays an eminently respectable shortstop too.
This may also be some level of insurance should they not be able to come to terms with with Bogaerts.
 

OCD SS

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Most of the places the Sox need to fill holes are places they have FA's who already look like the best options... Kike's CF defense looks like a good anchor to structure the OF around, so here's hoping for an offensive rebound.

I'm sort of surprised there's no option attached...
 

greek_gawd_of_walks

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I really don't think this is the primary objective in signing Kiké, given how strong his play in CF is, but the ability to play shortstop is no small component of this signing. I really like it.

I think it's far more likely that he's the opening day SS in 2023 than Story, given the serious questions about his arm strength. Of course, it'd be best to find a SS and keep Kiké in CF, but you could do a lot worse than Hernandez.
 

moondog80

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Don't overthink this. Barring something crazy Kike is playing CF with a little bit of 2B sprinkled in.
 

snowmanny

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Seems fair and gives them flexibility if an opportunity presents itself for 2024.
 

jwbasham84

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I know Story was a short stop when we signed him, but he has been great at second and his range will be extremely useful there next year with the shift ban. Just like I see no reason to move Kike out of center, why shift Story away from a position he has been excellent at. He's in line for the second highest fielding % of his career (granted at an "easier" position). Let him lock that down instead of us worrying about his elbow all next season. We don't need an All-Star at short, we need a competent every day player. We have just grown accustomed to seeing an all-star at the position.

That being said I would sign X back if the price is reasonable enough.
 

mauf

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I know Story was a short stop when we signed him, but he has been great at second and his range will be extremely useful there next year with the shift ban. Just like I see no reason to move Kike out of center, why shift Story away from a position he has been excellent at. He's in line for the second highest fielding % of his career (granted at an "easier" position). Let him lock that down instead of us worrying about his elbow all next season. We don't need an All-Star at short, we need a competent every day player. We have just grown accustomed to seeing an all-star at the position.

That being said I would sign X back if the price is reasonable enough.
Signing Story was a blunder if he can’t play shortstop. And even if you think X is defensively adequate now, any long-term extension necessarily contemplates moving him off shortstop, because I don’t think even X’s biggest boosters think he’ll be an adequate defensive shortstop three years from now.

The Sox are being appropriately deferential to X this season. Also, there’s some merit in asking the better athlete to be the one to play out of position for a year. But I’m assuming Story will be the Opening Day shortstop until there’s a concrete reason to think otherwise.
 

Max Power

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Signing Story was a blunder if he can’t play shortstop. And even if you think X is defensively adequate now, any long-term extension necessarily contemplates moving him off shortstop, because I don’t think even X’s biggest boosters think he’ll be an adequate defensive shortstop three years from now.

The Sox are being appropriately deferential to X this season. Also, there’s some merit in asking the better athlete to be the one to play out of position for a year. But I’m assuming Story will be the Opening Day shortstop until there’s a concrete reason to think otherwise.
Did you see the throw he tried to make from the shortstop position yesterday? It made David Eckstein look like Oneil Cruz. Yes, it was only one throw on the run in the wrong direction, but coupled with the concerns about his arm when he was signed and the fact that Bobby Dalbec has played more innings at short than him this season, we can conclude they don't think he should be over there.
 

chawson

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Signing Story was a blunder if he can’t play shortstop. And even if you think X is defensively adequate now, any long-term extension necessarily contemplates moving him off shortstop, because I don’t think even X’s biggest boosters think he’ll be an adequate defensive shortstop three years from now.

The Sox are being appropriately deferential to X this season. Also, there’s some merit in asking the better athlete to be the one to play out of position for a year. But I’m assuming Story will be the Opening Day shortstop until there’s a concrete reason to think otherwise.
Really? I don’t think so. Treating him purely as a second baseman, he’s a spectacular one, ranked second-best in MLB by Outs Above Average on a pro rata basis. Relatively tough year at the plate, but I believe him that he’s identified some mechanics issues and the last 8 games have indeed looked a lot different. Can’t hold his HBP against him.

Overall, this version of Story is a 4.5 fWAR second baseman over a 162 game season. Like @jwbasham84 said above, his range will be even more useful with the shift ban, and there’s reason to believe he’s better at the plate.
 

jwbasham84

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Lose Remerswaal

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You are correct that is hasn't been stated that it will be implemented. But the MLBPA has agreed to allow that change with pitch clocks and larger bases.
Pitch clock, shift bans among MLB rule changes on table for 2023 (nypost.com)

But MLB has been pushing for this and they have the MLBPA's support. It's happening...
Interesting. I hate change in baseball, going back to the DH. But since no one seems to want to learn how to bunt or hit the other way against the shift, this might be necessary

maybe I don’t hate change so much, since I like pitch clocks and robo ball/strike calls
 

moondog80

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Really? I don’t think so. Treating him purely as a second baseman, he’s a spectacular one, ranked second-best in MLB by Outs Above Average on a pro rata basis. Relatively tough year at the plate, but I believe him that he’s identified some mechanics issues and the last 8 games have indeed looked a lot different. Can’t hold his HBP against him.

Overall, this version of Story is a 4.5 fWAR second baseman over a 162 game season. Like @jwbasham84 said above, his range will be even more useful with the shift ban, and there’s reason to believe he’s better at the plate.
Hell, the 89 game version of Story has been 2.7 WAR. Long way to go but he held up his end of the bargain in year1.
 

Rovin Romine

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Hmm. I'd probably have gone for 2/17 if possible. But the 1/10 is interesting. I suppose it means they think there's a good chance they'll have a replacement CF ready in 2024.
 
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chrisfont9

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Not sure if it means that he's done, but he's clearly not plan A.

This may also be some level of insurance should they not be able to come to terms with with Bogaerts.
The message of the past week or so is that Duran is not up for a ton of pressure. I have a lot of sympathy for him in that regard. And he might still be able to succeed in the majors, but it's going to take a very patient approach. So sure, sign your current CF for another year, and then keep figuring it out.

Frankly the Sox are lucky (contract wise) that Kiké had the year he had; after 2021 he did not look like a guy who was settling for one year deals anytime soon.
 

chrisfont9

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I know Story was a short stop when we signed him, but he has been great at second and his range will be extremely useful there next year with the shift ban. Just like I see no reason to move Kike out of center, why shift Story away from a position he has been excellent at. He's in line for the second highest fielding % of his career (granted at an "easier" position). Let him lock that down instead of us worrying about his elbow all next season. We don't need an All-Star at short, we need a competent every day player. We have just grown accustomed to seeing an all-star at the position.

That being said I would sign X back if the price is reasonable enough.
I'm with you -- this team doesn't move guys off their position too lightly. Whatever Kiké is at short, he's terrific in CF and Story is terrific at 2B. I think they have every intention of trying to bring X back.
 

mauf

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Because he’s barely worth that money now as a second baseman and will only decline with age. He’s not going to regain his 2018-19 offensive form, and defense at second base is only worth so much. If he plays at shortstop, however, an OPS in the 750-800 range makes him a star, assuming his defense isn’t dramatically worse than it was in Colorado. (He doesn’t need to be the elite defensive SS he was in 2017-19 — just average-ish.)
 
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sezwho

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I'm with you -- this team doesn't move guys off their position too lightly. Whatever Kiké is at short, he's terrific in CF and Story is terrific at 2B. I think they have every intention of trying to bring X back.
I don’t think they are moving them either, and maybe I don’t follow other clubs as closely, but this regime seem pretty willing to swap positions.
 

joe dokes

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Because he’s barely worth that money now as a second baseman and will only decline with age. He’s not going to regain his 2018-19 offensive form, and defense at second base is only worth so much. If he plays at shortstop, however, an OPS in the 750-800 range makes him a star, assuming his defense isn’t dramatically worse than it was in Colorado. (He doesn’t need to be the elite defensive SS he was in 2017-19 — just average-ish.)
I think you are vastly underestimating his play this year (limited, though, by injury). A 2.7 WAR puts him in the top 75 or so in MLB, with considerably less PT than most of those ahead of him.
 

jwbasham84

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Signing Story was a blunder if he can’t play shortstop. And even if you think X is defensively adequate now, any long-term extension necessarily contemplates moving him off shortstop, because I don’t think even X’s biggest boosters think he’ll be an adequate defensive shortstop three years from now.

The Sox are being appropriately deferential to X this season. Also, there’s some merit in asking the better athlete to be the one to play out of position for a year. But I’m assuming Story will be the Opening Day shortstop until there’s a concrete reason to think otherwise.
I'm not advocating that we run X out to play short like the Yankees did Jeter... I'm advocating we resign him at a reasonable price. Mayer should be ready in a few years when it is time for X to shift to left field... If Manny can play left, then a declining X most likely can as well. He could also spend time at DH, etc.

Because he’s barely worth that money now as a second baseman and will only decline with age. He’s not going to regain his 2018-19 offensive form, and defense at second base is only worth so much. If he plays at shortstop, however, an OPS in the 750-800 range makes him a star, assuming his defense isn’t dramatically worse than it was in Colorado.
Trevor accumulated 2.7 bWAR with significant time off due to a freak injury. Fangraphs believes that teams will be paying approximately $8.5M/WAR in the 2022 offseason for 2+ WAR projected players of which Story certainly is... at that cost Story has almost exactly been worth his contract and has missed HALF OF THE SEASON! How can you honestly say he won't be worth more without the injury. He's hitting better lately and fielding spectacularly all season...
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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I'm not advocating that we run X out to play short like the Yankees did Jeter... I'm advocating we resign him at a reasonable price. Mayer should be ready in a few years when it is time for X to shift to left field... If Manny can play left, then a declining X most likely can as well. He could also spend time at DH, etc.
Just like Hanley Ramirez!
 

patinorange

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We are not getting Xander at a reasonable price. He’s the best hitting shortstop in the game and if anything, his defense has improved. He’s getting his very big bucks. I hope its from the Red Sox but if not, someone will pay up.
 

TheYellowDart5

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Bringing back Hernandez is a hopeful sign that Bloom learned his lesson from the great Dalbec disaster: don't hand off positions to young guys who haven't proven themselves. Duran whiffed badly in his chance to become the guy next year, and I imagine he's going to have to earn that opportunity back. Going into 2023 with him atop the CF depth chart would've been a huge mistake, and the FA options beyond Judge and Brandon Nimmo are weak. If nothing else, Hernandez is a good defender and a great clubhouse guy. Ideally he'd sit against righties but that doesn't seem realistic; there aren't any viable right-handed OF bats in free agency who I think can be trusted in center. But Hernandez is a fine option for now.

So with him locked up for 2023, the outfield now is:

RF: Verdugo
CF: Hernandez
LF: Pham
Backups: Refsnyder, Cordero
Minors: Duran, Jaylin Davis, Rafaela

Not the most imposing group, but there's time yet to do more.

ETA: The idea of Hernandez playing short next year is nonsense. He's the only viable centerfielder on the roster, and unless this FO is going to splurge for Judge (unlikely) or bet on Nimmo or make a trade, he's the starter there. Shortstop is a whole other problem that he can't fix.
 

grimshaw

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I mentioned this before but I think a non zero factor in drafting so many up the middle guys is because of the imminent shift ban. And I think 2b dWAR will be a higher factor in player evaluation.

I think Story's range which sometimes channels Pedey plays into this as well.