Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Teoscar Hernández to a one-year, $23.5 million contract. His deal was made official a handful of days after reportedly agreeing to terms and reportedly includes incentives as well.
While Hernández needed to undergo a physical before his contract could be finalized, the Dodgers also had to create room on their 40-man roster. That was accomplished Thursday with a trade that sent Yency Almonte and Michael Busch to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for two young prospects.
With the signing of Hernández, the Dodgers 40-man roster has 39 players on it. The team has been linked to Ryan Brasier, Josh Hader, and reportedly remain in search of another starting pitcher as well.
Meanwhile, Hernández brings needed balance to a Dodgers lineup that projects to have a bevy of left-handed hitters. Dating back to the start of the 2018 season, the 31-year-old has hit 147 home runs with 442 RBI and a 117 wRC+.
From 2020 through 2022, Hernández averaged a 133 wRC+ and has maintained his status as one of the biggest threats against left-handed pitching.
Overall, however, Hernández is coming off somewhat of a down 2023 season, which was his first — and only — year with the Seattle Mariners.
That widely has been attributed to hitting at pitcher-friendly T-Mobile Park, where Hernández batted .217/.263/.380 with 13 doubles, 12 home runs and 44 RBI over 79 games. In 81 games on the road, Hernández hit .295/.344/.486 with 16 doubles, 14 home runs and 49 RBI.
In total for the 2023 season, he batted .258/.305/.435 with 29 doubles, 26 home runs, 93 RBI, a 106 OPS+, .317 wOBA and 105 wRC+.
Hernández was particularly effective against left-handed pitching last year as he hit .287/.307/.511 with 11 doubles, seven home runs and 27 RBI in 150 plate appearances.
Hernández won a Silver Slugger Award in 2020 and 2021 while with the Toronto Blue Jays. He also placed 11th in American League MVP voting during the 2020 season.
How Teoscar Hernández fits with Dodgers
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman identified a right-handed hitting outfielder as one of the team’s needs heading into the 2024 season.
With Hernández now in the fold, he’s expected to be the starting left fielder but can also play right field if the Dodgers elect to have Jason Heyward flip corner spots.
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