Phillies: Five players likely to be traded this offseason
Is this finally the offseason when the Phillies trade Cesar Hernandez? We were guaranteed it would happen last offseason but a poor end to the season thanks to a broken foot mixed with a poor rookie season from Scott Kingery likely played a role in Hernandez sticking around for another year.
Hernandez is the longest-tenured Phillie, first appearing with the team in 2013 and earning a starting job between Chase Utley’s injuries. The versatile Hernandez has played across the diamond, but has stuck at second base as no more than an all-around slightly above average player.
Since 2015 Hernandez has a .278 batting average with about 35 extra-base hits a season. He’s hit more home runs in the last two seasons than his first three full seasons combined, and his batting average dipped after two straight years of hitting .294 with an on-base percentage of at least .370.
While Hernandez typically finishes the year with promising numbers, his performance throughout the year dips at times, and lackadaisical play draws ire from the fanbase. However, he has been an overall consistent hitter, leaving the Phillies with a difficult decision this offseason.
Hernandez is in the final year of arbitration eligibility and will be a free agent after this season. Spotrac projects him to make $11.8 in arbitration this year, which would make him the fifth-highest-paid second baseman in baseball. He’s set to earn more next season than Whit Merrifield, Ozzie Albies, and Jeff McNeil combined.
Oakland could use a second baseman, but they have a lot of high-priced arbitration eligible players to pay this offseason, including MVP candidate Marcus Siemian, Blake Treinen, and Stephen Piscotty. Coul the Phillies help Oakland by taking the $8.1 million contract of veteran starter Mike Fiers to offset the cost along with a prospect for Hernandez?
Relievers Blake Treinen and Joakim Soria also have large contracts the Phillies could absorb to help Oakland take the Herandez deal.
The Chicago Cubs could make an upgrade over Addison Russell at second base next season. Already projected to lose Cole Hamels this offseason, could the Cubs expense Kyle Hendricks or Jose Quintana?
What the Phillies do with Hernandez depends on their center field job, which is currently a mix of Scott Kingery and Adam Haseley. If the Phillies hand the keys to Haseley or acquire a center fielder such as Starling Marte, then expect Hernandez to be gone.