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Kiké Hernández signs 2-year, $14 million with Red Sox

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Longtime Dodgers jack of all trades heads to Boston

World Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Tampa Bay Rays - Game Four Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Utility man extraordinaire Kiké Hernández has reportedly found a new home, agreeing to terms with the Red Sox on a two-year deal, per multiple reports.

The signing became official on February 2.

Hernández hit .230/.270/.410 with five home runs in 48 games last season. He played 17 of the Dodgers’ postseason 18 games, starting five, hitting .214/.290/.464, most notably hitting the game-tying home run in the sixth inning of Game 7 of the NLCS against the Braves.

He led major league second basemen in Defensive Runs Saved (+8) at second base despite only 22 starts at the position. As usual, defensive versatility was Hernández’s calling card, also starting games at shortstop and all three outfield spots in 2020.

Hernández in his career has played over 500 innings at four different positions — second base, center field, left field, and shortstop. He’s also started 35 games in right field, 14 games at third base, 11 games at first, and even pitched once, in an extra-inning game in 2018.

He could potentially get more regular playing time with the Red Sox than he would have with Los Angeles, after averaging 418 plate appearances and 91 starts per 162 games the last four seasons.

Hernández, 29, is a career .263/.345/.474 hitter against left-handed pitchers, a 120 wRC+, though in the truncated 2020 season that fell to .217/.260/.413, a 79 wRC+ in 50 plate appearances.

In seven big league seasons, the last six of which were with the Dodgers, Hernández hit .240/.313/.425, a 99 WRC+, with 71 home runs. He also hit three home runs and drove in seven in Game 5 of the 2017 NLCS, clinching the Dodgers’ first World Series berth in 29 years.

Hernández in Boston reunites with manager Alex Cora, who was the general manager for the Puerto Rico national baseball team for the 2017 World Baseball Classic, during which Hernández was 4-for-15 (.267) with a triple, and Puerto Rico was the tournament runner-up. Cora was also suspended by MLB for the 2020 season for his role in the sign-stealing scandal as bench coach for the 2017 Astros, who beat Hernández and the Dodgers in that year’s World Series.