Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Red Sox, Kiké Hernández agree to one-year, $10M extension, per report

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
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The Boston Red Sox and center fielder/utility man Kiké Hernández have agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract extension, reports ESPN

Hernández, 31, was set to hit free agency after this season, so that will be delayed until after the 2023 season, at least. His current deal was for two years and $14 million. 

Hernández played in 134 games last season, hitting .250/.337/.449 (108 OPS+) with 35 doubles, three triples, 20 homers, 60 RBI, 84 runs and 4.9 WAR. He was a key cog in the lineup for a team that got to Game 6 of the ALCS, including hitting either leadoff or second throughout the playoffs. 

A hip injury has limited Hernández this season to just 68 games through Monday. He’s hitting .219/.283/.354 with 19 doubles, six homers, 37 RBI, 35 runs and 0.6 WAR. 

The Red Sox could still make a late playoff run this season, but it’s a major long shot. Instead, they are likely looking ahead to a big offseason. All-Star designated hitter J.D. Martinez‘s contract is up after the season. All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts is likely to opt-out of the rest of his deal and hit free agency. Three starting pitchers are also hitting free agency in Nathan Eovaldi, Rich Hill and Michael Wacha

On top of all that, All-Star third baseman Rafael Devers is set to hit free agency after the 2023 season. 

This is to say, there are plenty of decisions to be made with the ballclub by the front office. Getting an extension done with Hernández seems like a good way to check a perhaps-less-pressing item off the offseason to-do list. 

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