2. Cleveland Indians trade Cesar Hernandez
Update: Cesar Hernandez was traded to the White Sox.
I would think there’s a contender out there (the Giants) that would love to get Cesar Hernandez, a second baseman who’s hit the most home runs of his career in 2022.
Hernandez was excellent for the Tribe in 2020, and while his average has sunk to .231 after batting .283 a season ago (lifetime, he’s a .272 hitter). Hernandez is clearly trying to hit for more power (perhaps a cold free-agent market inspired him). The most home runs he ever hit in a season prior to the current campaign came in 2018, when hit 15 with the Phillies.
Hernandez is also extremely affordable. He’s earning $5 million next season and has a team option next season that would pay him $6 million.
With the glut of middle infielders who are getting closer to reaching their MLB born-on-date, such as Tyler Freeman, in addition to probably MLB-ready shortstop/second baseman Andres Gimenez in the mix, there’s just no need to keep Hernandez around.
Freeman, who was drafted as a shortstop, has long been projected for a big-league future at second. Gimenez started the season at short before being demoted, giving Rosario the chance to play everyday at his natural position.
But perhaps even Rosario could find himself traded, as at least one team inquired about him, according to The Athletic’s Zack Meisel (subscription). Unfortunately, with better options out there like Trevor Story and Trea Turner, most teams aren’t paying attention to Rosario, so we’ll see.
I think it’s more likely he stays, and the Indians work him into the outfield for 2022.