16.8 C
New York
April 13, 2024
NewsAltitude
Sports TOP STORIES

Kiké Hernández re-signs with Dodgers, Manuel Margot traded to Twins

Kiké Hernández re-signs with Dodgers, Manuel Margot traded to Twins

February 26th, 2024

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Even after a busy offseason, the Dodgers weren’t quite done making moves for their 2024 roster.

On Monday, the Dodgers traded away veteran outfielder Manuel Margot to the Twins, along with prospect Rayne Doncon, in exchange for shortstop Noah Miller, who was ranked as the No. 23 prospect in the Twins’ system.

With Margot headed to Minnesota, that ultimately opened the door for the Dodgers to re-sign fan favorite Kiké Hernández to fill a superutility role on a one-year, $4 million deal. Both moves were officially announced by the club Monday afternoon.

“As we were having different conversations and the ability to bring Kiké back and time all of that up, just having another layer of versatility,” said Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes. “Obviously, Manny still fit really well. Kiké, we just felt fit a little bit better, plus we know what he brings come postseason time, hopefully, and in the clubhouse.”

The Dodgers acquired Margot from the Rays in December in the same deal that brought Tyler Glasnow to Los Angeles. With the Dodgers set to pay Margot $10 million in 2024, there was always the possibility of the club trading the veteran outfielder before the start of the season.

At one point in the offseason, the Dodgers engaged with the Red Sox on a possible swap that would’ve sent Margot to Boston in exchange for longtime Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. Those discussions never progressed past the initial stages and fizzled out pretty quickly into the process, sources told MLB.com.

As for Hernández, he gives the Dodgers another right-handed option off the bench and against left-handed pitching. Hernández played a pivotal role in the Dodgers’ run to a World Series title in ‘20 before leaving for the Red Sox in free agency. Last Trade Deadline, however, the Dodgers swung a deal for the superutility man, which turned out to be a good reunion for both sides.

This offseason, the Dodgers and Hernández had constant communication and there was always mutual interest. The Dodgers, however, began to run out of room on the roster for Hernández’s services. A report from the Athletic on Sunday suggested that Hernández was down to the Padres, Angels, Giants and Yankees. But as the Dodgers began to get interest in Margot, the Hernández deal came together quickly.

“We’ve been in touch with Kiké throughout the offseason at different points,” Gomes said. “And there was mutual interest all along. But obviously, there were challenges with how our team was constructed. And once we were able to line up on the deal with Minnesota, it opened up a spot for Kiké and we were able to pull that one through.”

Hernández, who underwent a sports hernia surgery this winter but will be ready for Opening Day in Seoul, South Korea, gives the Dodgers some more depth in the infield. He has the ability to play all over the diamond, including even being the backup first baseman behind Freddie Freeman. But perhaps most importantly, Hernández can help give James Outman some days off in center field against left-handed pitching.

In 54 games with the Dodgers last season, Hernández improved significantly at the plate, hitting five homers and posting a .731 OPS. Prior to that, Hernández hit just six homers and a .599 OPS in 86 games with the Red Sox.

“I think we were very focused on how to help the team and how it all works with the clubhouse and the dynamic of, hopefully, what is being there down the stretch run and into the playoffs, and we know what Kiké does on that front,” Gomes said. “So that was the driving factor.”

Read More