Teoscar Hernández Rumors: Dodgers ‘Continue To Express Interest’

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers have already done much of their heavy-lifting this offseason by acquiring Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow, but they continue to explore ways to further upgrade their roster.

They are reportedly looking to add another starting pitcher and have remained in the market for potential upgrades in the outfield, bullpen and at shortstop. With Mookie Betts set to play second base on a nearly everyday basis, outfield may be the clearest path for the Dodgers to improve their lineup.

The Dodgers have been connected to Max Kepler and Joc Pederson, but their left-handed bats may be tougher to fit into a lineup that could use a right-hander to balance it out.

Teoscar Hernández is another outfielder the Dodgers have kept tabs on, and they remain interested in him, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN:

Outfielder Teoscar Hernandez: the best bat, non-Bellinger division, left on the market. The Red Sox and Dodgers continue to express interest, though the Angels could make sense. So could a return engagement in Seattle, though the Mariners’ payroll constraints are choking what should’ve been a bountiful winter.

As it currently stands, the Dodgers have James Outman, Jason Heyward, Manuel Margot and Chris Taylor as their primary outfield options. Michael Busch and Miguel Vargas could mix into that group as well. Heyward and Margot figure to platoon in right field, while James Outman starts in center field.

Hernández would presumably become the everyday starter in left field while providing some power from the right-handed side of the plate. He is coming off a down season with the Seattle Mariners, but was still productive, hitting .258/.305/.435 with 29 doubles, 26 home runs, 93 RBI, a 106 OPS+, .317 wOBA and 105 wRC+ over 160 games.

Even after taking a step back, the 31-year-old batted .287/.307/.511 with 11 doubles, seven home runs and 27 RBI across 150 plate appearances against southpaws, which is an area the Dodgers are always looking to improve.

Before last season, he was a feared slugger with three consecutive seasons of at least an .807 on-base plus slugging percentage and 130 wRC+. The stretch included winning a Silver Slugger Award in back-to-back seasons and a selection to the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.

Teoscar Hernández contract outlook

MLB Trade Rumors has Hernández projected to sign a four-year, $80 million contract, but it’s hard to envision the Dodgers going that far as he comes off a down year. They perhaps view Hernández as a fit if his market does not unfold the way many predicted and instead look to sign him to a one- or two-year deal to get back on track.

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