Had the Florida Marlins not traded Jeremy Hermida, there's a decent chance he would have been non-tendered next month. After a disappointing 2009 season, the Marlins were not interested in giving Hermida a raise from the $2.25 million he made.
Once he reached free agency, Hermida would have been an attractive player if only because he's still young, has a smooth lefty swing and decent pop. Instead the Red Sox acquired him for the low, low cost of LHPs Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez.
Hermida welcomed the trade. The expectations on a first-round pick are high with any team but especially with teams like Florida, who can't afford to make mistakes. Hermida is the classic "can't miss" prospect who has missed so far and everybody had become tired of waiting.
"The change of scenery will be good for me," he said. "Boston has a lot of older guys who can teach me about the game and we can talk hitting. I know Mike Lowell pretty well and I played with Josh (Beckett) a little. This is a great thing for me."
Hermida has had health issues and ended the season out of action for four weeks with an oblique strain. Like many young players (he's 26 in January), he needs to learn his body and how best to prepare it.
Hermida spoke to Theo Epstein and Terry Francona today and said he's eager to start swinging a bat again to get ready for spring training.
"I feel rejuvenated," he said. "I had a feeling I'd be traded and going to Boston is better than I could have expected."
This is not a major deal, as Epstein said. But it was around this time last season that the Yankees obtained Nick Swisher when his value was lowest and that deal worked out. Sometimes the little deals become big ones.