Phillies mock trade: Moving Cesar Hernandez to Cleveland

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 09: Cesar Hernandez #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on September 9, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 09: Cesar Hernandez #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on September 9, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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The Phillies are expected to finally move on from Cesar Hernandez.

For two years the Phillies have been rumored to be trading second baseman Cesar Hernandez to clear room for Scott Kingery at second base.

Hernandez, now the longest-tenured member of the Phillies, has stood the test of time amid the Phillies rebuild and has emerged as a good stopgap at second base. He’s never been anything more than pretty good as a career .279 hitter with some speed and a recent power surge.

Several teams in the FanSided MLB offseason simulation had discussions regarding Hernandez. The Diamondbacks, Indians, Cubs, Athletics, and Pirates all discussions regarding Hernandez, but at the end of the day, the interest wasn’t especially high.

As our simulation came to an end, we were able to move Hernandez, who is expected to make $11.8 million in his final year of arbitration, to Cleveland.

Sam Hentges is the Indian’s 15th ranked prospects according to MLB Pipeline, recently pitching in Double-A. Cleveland’s fourth-round pick in 2014, Hentges underwent Tommy John surgery in 2016 as a 19-year-old, but he still managed to pitch in 2017.

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In 2018 Hentges lead the Class A Advanced Carolina League in strikeout rate (9.3 per nine innings) and was second in ERA (3.27). He had ERAs under 3.30 for two consecutive seasons before going to Double-A, where he received a loss in 13 of his 26 starts and had an ERA over five.

MLB Pipeline projects Hentges to be a middle of the rotation starter if he can refine his control. Hentges gives up very few home runs, leading the Carolina League wit ha 0.3 per nine innings home run-rate.

While we were looking for a couple of prospects in return for Hernandez, the deadline pushed us to make the best deal possible. The fact that Hernandez is a pricy rental player whose batting average hasn’t been great for the last two years won’t help his trade value at all.

Philadelphia could make a deal like this or non-tender Hernandez, which would be a shame given what he brought to the team. Either way, the days of Hernandez in Philadelphia are likely numbered.