Phillies Avoid Arbitration with Cesar Hernandez
The Phillies reached a contract agreement with Cesar Hernandez Friday afternoon to avoid an arbitration hearing, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. With the deal, Hernandez is set to make $2.55 million in 2017.
Cesar Hernandez, phils settled at $2.55M
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 3, 2017
This is Hernandez’s first exposure to arbitration due to his Super 2 status. The $2.55 million figure is near midpoint of the figures the two sides exchanged last month when they were unable to reach an agreement before the deadline to avoid scheduling a hearing. The Phillies filed for $2.0 million while Hernandez and his representation filed for $2.8 million. Prior to the offseason, MLB Trade Rumors–which is usually pretty good at estimating arbitration figures–predicted Hernandez would earn $2.55 million. In short, nothing out of the ordinary to see here.
Having reached an agreement with Hernandez, the Phillies have now settled with all three arbitration eligible players in the organization with deals already struck with Freddy Galvis and Jeanmar Gomez.
Time will tell whether the Phillies see Hernandez as a long-term piece in the rebuild. After signing Odubel Herrera to a long-term extension earlier this offseason, many have begum to wonder who will be next to lock themselves in for the future.
Hernandez had a fantastic season in 2016, to be sure. In 622 plate appearances, he hit .294/.371/.393 with a National League best 11 triples. It was the first season of his career in which he hit better than league average. FanGraphs pegged his season as worth 4.4 Wins Above Replacement–about a win better than Baseball-Reference and Baseball Prospectus’ versions–in part because UZR loved his defense in 2016. Defensive stats can vary widely season-to-season, so it’s hard to totally buy into UZR when it is so far out of line with what BR and BP are offering.
With Hernandez not set to be free of the tangles of arbitration until after 2020 and Scott Kingery–the system’s best second base prospect–still at least a year away, the Phillies have plenty of time to figure out whether Hernandez’s 2016 was a sign of things to come or simply an outlier. As fans, we have plenty of time to throw things at our televisions as he runs into–hopefully fewer and fewer–needless outs on the bases.