In the latest edition of MLB Breaking News, the Cleveland Indians have re-signed veteran second baseman, Cesar Hernandez, to a one-year deal with an option for the 2022 season, but it is pending Hernandez passes his physical.
MLB Breaking News: The Pros and Cons of Re-Signing Hernandez
Hernandez provides a safe floor at second base for the 2021 Cleveland Indians due to his ability to draw walks, play defense, and provide a veteran presence for a youthful Indians position player group. Hernandez was at the top of the leaderboards in every important category when compared to his other peers at second base during the 2020 season.
The return of Cesar Hernandez for the 2021 season will affect other components of the 25 man roster in the short term. With Hernandez starting at second base, that is one less spot to accommodate recently acquired infielders Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez.
Following the MLB breaking news that Francisco Lindor had been shipped out, I wrote a piece about the effects on the Indians. In my assessment of the Francisco Lindor trade, I stated that there is a possibility of Amed Rosario starting at shortstop for the Indians to begin the 2021 season and Andres Gimenez beginning the year at the Triple-A affiliate in Columbus, Ohio to manipulate Gimenez’s service time. The signing of Hernandez now makes that possibility even more likely, which I find to be very disappointing even though Hernandez can provide value for a team that badly needs it.
I believe that Andres Gimenez should be the Opening Day shortstop of the Cleveland Indians, and the organization manipulating his service time similarly to how they manipulated Francisco Lindor‘s when he was a rookie shows the bad habits ownership has forced onto the front office due to Paul Dolan’s Ebenezer Scrooge cosplay.
Another effect that this signing has on the team is that this move confirms Yu Chang will probably be the utility player for the Indians to begin the 2021 season. The signing of Hernandez will also serve as a stop-gap for infield prospects in the upper minors of the Indians farm system such as Tyler Freeman, Owen Miller, and Gabriel Arias.
The signing of Hernandez is somewhat encouraging as it shows the Indians are willing to reinvest some of the savings from the Lindor/Carrasco trade. On the other hand, this move will not mean much unless Hernandez magically transforms into Roberto Alomar Jr. or the front office makes other transactions to bring more value to other facets of the 25 man roster. All three outfield spots still have question marks, and the bullpen could use another arm or two.
Hernandez raises the floor of a team that can still compete for an American League Wild Card spot if everything goes right, but more free-agent additions would reduce the huge margin of error that is still looming over the team as we move closer to the beginning of the 2021 season.
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