Dodgers: Former L.A. Fan Favorite Signs Deal to Stay in Boston
When Kiké Hernandez hit free agency after the Dodgers’ World Series win in 2020, he was looking for an everyday job, something he had earned but the Dodgers didn’t really have available to give him. In the end, Kiké ended up in Boston, signing a two-year, $14 million deal with the Red Sox in February 2021.
Hernandez had a solid first season in Boston, posting a .786 OPS and providing outstanding defense in center field and at second base, adding up to a career-best 4.9 WAR in 2021. Kiké also starred in the 2021 playoffs for Boston, posting a 1.260 OPS with 10 extra-base hits in 52 postseason plate appearances.
This year has been a different story, which injuries limiting Kiké’s playing time and possibly contributing to ineffectiveness when he’s on the field. He’s still playing good defense, if not quite like last year, but his 77 OPS+ is 23 percent below league average.
Still, the Red Sox see something they like in Hernandez, because they decided to bring him back for at least one more year:
Center fielder Kiké Hernandez and the Boston Red Sox are in agreement on a one-year, $10 million contract extension that will keep him in Boston for the 2023 season, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN.
News story free at ESPN: https://t.co/PjDYm8qXKZ
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 6, 2022
The Red Sox seem convinced that Hernandez’s issues this year are injury related, and they’re banking on him coming back healthy and effective in 2023.
Kiké had been slated to hit free agency again after this season, but now that he’s off the board, Dodger fans can cancel their letters to Santa Claus asking for everyone’s favorite banana man to come back to Los Angeles. But you can buy tickets to visit Fenway Park almost a year from now, when the Dodgers visit the Red Sox August 25-27, 2023.
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