Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers addressed their need for a right-handed hitting outfielder with the signing of Teoscar Hernández to a one-year, $23.5 million contract.
The Dodgers had been linked to Hernández since the start of offseason but weren’t necessarily considered a favorite to sign him. The 31-year-old was projected to sign a multi-year contract and figured to get more playing time elsewhere.
However, Hernández’s market never truly developed and he elected to sign with the Dodgers for an opportunity to win a World Series and potentially test free agency again next year.
“There weren’t that many choices in the market this offseason,” Hernández said. “Obviously, we want to know how the market is right now and how teams are approaching all the players and all the free agents.
“And for me, it wasn’t hard to make the decision to go to the Dodgers, because I know going to the organization is going to give me more experience.
“It’s going to give me the things that I want in this free agency because I wanted to go to a team that can compete and can be in the playoffs and a good team and a good organization that makes me a better player. So that’s one of the biggest reasons why I signed with the Dodgers.”
Hernández is coming off somewhat of a down season with the Seattle Mariners as he hit .258/.305/.435 with 29 doubles, 26 home runs and 93 RBI in 160 games.
He nevertheless continued to be effective against left-handed pitching, batting .287/.307/.511 with 11 doubles, seven home runs and 27 RBI in 150 plate appearances.
“When the offseason started, in my mind, I wanted to sign a multi-year deal, obviously, like every free agent. But like I said, everybody knows how hard it’s been, this is a special year, I don’t know what’s happening, Hernández said.
“But making that decision, I had more choices, but I think it was in the best for me and my family. So I’d rather take one with the Dodgers and go to a team that is going to make me better.
“And hopefully, everything goes well, and we can win, we can win everything this year, and see what happens next year.”
Although he has primarily played right field since the 2020 season, Hernández is expected to be the starting left fielder for the Dodgers. He could also see some time in right field when the Dodgers face a left-handed pitcher and Jason Heyward is not in the lineup.
Teoscar Hernández’s view of Dodgers changed
When it became clear he wasn’t going to sign a multi-year contract in free agency, Hernández made the team a priority. “From the beginning, they’ve been there,” he said of the process.
“And I was not considering a one-year deal, but it’s not that I had a lot of choices. And at the end, just trying to make the best decision that I can for me, and like I said, my family, and that’s one of the reasons I chose the Dodgers.”
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