3 under-the-radar free agents Phillies should sign
2. Enrique “Kike” Hernandez — 2 years, $8 million
Kike Hernandez would be a fan-favorite among Phillies fans if he signed here, partly due to his close relationship with local legend Chase Utley. Hernandez played and developed a strong bond with the 2008 World Series champion during his tenure with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
From 2017-2019, Hernandez hit .238 with 49 home runs and 153 runs batted in. Although the numbers are not eye-popping, he would be a perfect fit for the Phillies come 2021.
Next year’s lineup seems to be without J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius. The infield will most likely consist of Alec Bohm, Jean Segura, Scott Kingery, and Rhys Hoskins. Along with Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen, I expect Adam Haseley to also be a lineup regular.
With Hernandez’s super-utility nature — having played each outfield position, as well as primarily second base and shortstop — he could fill in for Kingery if his struggles continue, provide great depth on McCutchen off-days, as well as be a solid insurance option, if an injury does occur anywhere on the field. In a pinch, Hernandez has also seen playing time at first and third base.
A major bonus is Hernandez’s valuable postseason experience, having played in 58 such games and three World Series since 2015, totaling 142 plate appearances.
Hernandez will probably look to re-sign with the Dodgers or find himself a larger role elsewhere, but I’m sure he’d love playing in front of Phillies fans. Also, a two-year, $8 million suggested contract would not be too far off from what he was primed to make in 2020.
Just imagine his passion and hype, combined with Harper’s, in a deep playoff run.