Red Sox

5 things to know about ‘super utility’ player Kiké Hernández, who is reportedly joining the Red Sox

He can play nearly every position and is a World Series champion.

Kiké Hernandez throws to first base in a playoff game against the Atlanta Braves. Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

It appears that former Los Angeles Dodgers “super utility” player Kiké Hernández is joining the Red Sox.

MLB reporter Mark Feinsand reported Friday night that the sides agreed to a two-year, $14 million deal.

Hernández has a strong chance to emerge as the team’s everyday second baseman, and he’s also fully capable of playing outfield, shortstop, and just about anywhere else as needed. He’s become a World Series champion and a father in the past three months, and now he’s set to start fresh in a new home.

Here are five things to know about Hernández.

He can play nearly every position and is a World Series champion.

Hernández, 29, is a versatile defensive player who saw action at every position besides catcher last season – even pitcher, when he gave up a walk-off home run in the 16th inning.

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He’s primarily a second baseman and outfielder, but he can fill in elsewhere when necessary.

Last year, according to The Boston Globe‘s Alex Speier, the Red Sox had the worst production of any team at second base – posting just a .220 average, .273 on-base percentage, and .313 slugging mark throughout the shortened season – and it’s possible Hernández could help fill that glaring need.

Though he’s coming off a down season (.230/.270/410) he showed some improvement late in the year. In the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves, he hit .308 and added two home runs. He appeared in all six World Series games, chipping in two RBIs and helping the Dodgers win it all.

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Hernández, a seven-year pro, is a career .240 hitter, but he has decent power and unique defensive skills.

The Red Sox could move him around depending on who’s pitching.

Hernández reportedly wanted to join an organization where he’d have a chance to play regularly.

He appeared in 48 of 60 games last season, but The Los Angeles Times noted that he was interested in finding a franchise where he could accumulate 500-plus plate appearances per season.

Jorge Castillo indicated that Hernández will likely spend the bulk of his time at second base.

He specializes against lefties, and his .263/.345/.474 mark could make him a staple in the lineup in that situation. Against righties, his numbers dip to .222/.286/.386, so the Red Sox will likely mix and match with second baseman Christian Arroyo throughout the season.

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Time will tell whether Hernández emerges as an everyday player or an almost-everyday one.

He has some ties to the team already.

Hernández is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Red Sox manager Alex Cora successfully recruited him to represent their country in the World Baseball Classic.

He was also teammates with outfielder Alex Verdugo with the Dodgers, and he played alongside former Red Sox superstar Mookie Betts.

Verdugo was excited by the news that the Red Sox are reportedly acquiring Hernández.

He recently became a father.

Hernández is known as a character on and off the field.

When his wife, Mariana, was pregnant, Hernández shared a post on Instagram as if he was the one having the baby.

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“We were looking for original ways to announce her pregnancy,” Hernández told reporters. “And we didn’t want to do a gender reveal because it felt like every idea out there has been overused already. And I was like, ‘We need to find something to do, we need something to do especially now in quarantine we have time.'”

The baby, Penélope Isabel, was born Friday, Jan. 15, and Hernández called it the best day of his life.

“The day I got drafted I thought I was on top of the world, the day I made my Big League debut I thought nothing would compare, the day I got married I felt like the world stopped, the day we won the World Series I thought I had it all,” he wrote. “NOTHING compares to the moment when I met my little girl!!”

The Red Sox likely aren’t done making moves yet.

This is considered by many as the most significant splash of chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom’s tenure with the Red Sox.

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The reported two-year, $14 million deal is the first multi-year deal under Bloom, and the $14 million commitment is the largest since he joined the organization in October 2019.

While the Red Sox have also reached deals with outfielder Hunter Renfroe, starting pitcher Martín Perez, and swingman Matt Andriese, the consensus is that they’re still exploring additional upgrades.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported that the Red Sox are “in active discussions” with free agent pitcher Garrett Richards as of Friday.

Speier cited Richards, Jake Odorizzi, and Masahiro Tanaka as possible options to bolster the middle of rotation. He said Eduardo Rodriguez, Nate Eovaldi, and Perez are all likely starters, and Tanner Houck and Nick Pivetta are in the mix as well.

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