4. Yankees-Marlins Trade: Elieser Hernandez
And, if not Elieser Hernandez, then how about … someone? The Marlins’ cup runneth over with young pitching, and while you can never have enough, a rotation famously only has five slots.
Until those nerds take over control of a rotation and give every team, like, 12 starting pitchers. Damn stupid nerds! I heard this was happening via Twitter and I believed it. When I go outside, I forget where the inside of my house went.
Hernandez is our target over, say, Pablo Lopez or the damaged Sixto Sanchez because, unlike the other key Marlins pieces, Miami hasn’t totally unlocked him yet.
The nearly-27-year-old right-hander, whom the Marlins shuffled between the bullpen and the rotation a bit back in 2019, finished the 2021 season with 11 appearances (11 starts), a 4.18 ERA, 53 strikeouts in 51.2 innings pitched, and an elevated 1.316 WHIP.
Looking at the advanced metrics, his ’21 season was easily his weakest, blotting out some of the great work he did in ’20 and ’19 behind the scenes. If anything, his poor-ish performance gives us hope the Yankees might be able to swing something at a relative discount — the Brian Cashman specialty — for a depreciated asset.
His barrel percentage rose to 11%, up from 7.7 and 9.0 in 2020 and 2019. His xBA rose from .214 and .210 to .249. He ran cold throughout 2021, even though the surface numbers seemed to be an improvement … and here’s the portion of the article where we try to turn Hernandez and his changeup (used 12.2% of the time) over to Matt Blake.
Acquiring Pablo Lopez would be a ready-made dream, but there’s a lot to work with in Hernandez’s case, even if he ends up being valuable swingman.