Reports indicate that the Phillies are planning to sell high on second baseman Cesar Hernandez in any trade this week at the MLB Winter Meetings.
Hernandez has been among the best leadoff hitters in baseball the last two years. He had a .764 OPS in 2016 and a .793 OPS in 2017, while he had 4.3 and 3.3 fWAR the past two years. His .373 on-base percentage was fifth among qualified second baseman.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Philadelphia’s asking price for Hernandez is expected to be high, although for good reason:
Heyman says that Hernandez could fetch more in a trade than Detroit’s Ian Kinsler, Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis, and recent Marlins acquisition Starlin Castro.
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According to previous reports, the team has already received an offer for Hernandez from the Angels. However, it appears they wanted more for Hernandez than the Angels offered, so they are still listening on offers. The Mets showed some interest, while the Blue Jays could also look to acquire Hernandez.
The trade of Dee Gordon from the Marlins to the Mariners has set the market for second baseman.
Gordon and Hernandez are similar players, and the Marlins received a mid-rotation starting prospect, a high-risk, high-reward 19-year-old shortstop, and a toss-in pitching prospect for Gordon and international signing money. General manager Matt Klentak is probably looking for a similar package in a Hernandez deal.
Klentak has stated previously that he is comfortable with going into next season with the infield logjam still in place, so if he doesn’t get a strong return for Hernandez, he will definitely hold onto him.