New York Mets News

NY Mets offseason shopping list should include Kiké Hernandez

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 18: Enrique Hernandez #14 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves during the sixth inning in Game Seven of the National League Championship Series at Globe Life Field on October 18, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 18: Enrique Hernandez #14 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves during the sixth inning in Game Seven of the National League Championship Series at Globe Life Field on October 18, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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With the Los Angeles Dodgers unlikely to re-sign Enrique “Kiké” Hernández this offseason, the New York Mets should seriously consider targeting this super-utility player.

While New York Mets fans are hyper-focused on the prospect of signing OF George Springer, SP Trevor Bauer, and/or C James McCann, the player they should also be hoping to onboard this winter is Kiké Hernández; especially now while the above players are dominating the headlines.

Coming off a six-year stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Hernández has proven himself as an elite defender who can be platooned seamlessly across the diamond and the outfield.

In fact, if not for the unparalleled roster depth of the perennial NL West Champions these last several years, it’s not too far-fetched to think that he could have solidified a role as a starter on any other MLB team and – in doing so – have a couple of Gold Gloves under his belt by now.

As refreshing as it is for Mets fans to see their franchise ‘in’ on premium talent for a change, they shouldn’t make the mistake of overlooking the importance of having a deep bench; which currently includes: J.D. Davis, Luis Guillorme, Tomás Nido, Brandon Nimmo, and Amed Rosario.

If it needs to be proven that bench depth is an underrated commodity in baseball, look no further than Hernández’s former team.

For the 2020 World Series champions, their roster depth is arguably the most overlooked aspect of their team and has provided versatile defense and timely hitting in critical game junctures – particularly because of Hernández and players like him.

Regardless of if the Mets succeed in acquiring a Springer or McCann-like bat this winter, they would surely benefit from having a player who can act as a good compliment to their star teammates: Athletic. Reliable on defense. Versatile, and able to platoon.

Signing this 29-year-old would give them that, in addition to another infectious clubhouse personality.

Overall, Kiké is a multi-purpose player who fits the mold of Sandy Alderson’s preferred-type of athlete. He bolsters the bench and would be an upgrade over a utility player like Guillorme who has not demonstrated as much power at the plate or flexibility in field as he does.

Moreover, the suspension of Robinson Canó next season has opened an infield spot that Hernández could fill perfectly while maintaining a consistent level of play coming off the bench.

He would also put the Mets in a unique position to explore trades involving either Nimmo, Davis, or Rosario while ensuring the team has an adaptable player who could fill their shoes in the hypothetical interim.

Given all that, it is highly unlikely he will remain unsigned for long. As it stands, the Minnesota Twins have already expressed interest in the 29-year-old.

Since most clubs are primarily focused on the ‘big stars’ looking for contracts in the open market, the Mets should try to reach an agreement with Hernández on a 2-year deal, $12.5 million while he’s still flying under the radar.

However, due to his desire for a 1-year deal (as a result of his belief that he could garner more money next offseason when clubs won’t be as financially strained from the pandemic), a $6.5 million deal to play in Flushing during the 2021 season seems like a competitive offer to start with; considering it’s more than his $5.9 million salary last year.

Next. Five free agents to return the Mets pitching staff to prominence

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Simply put, the Mets offseason would not be complete without adding depth to protect their current and future star acquisitions. And that should draw their attention to Kiké Hernández.

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