Boston Red Sox: Team has strong interest in Kike Hernandez

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 24: Enrique Hernandez #14 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates as he hits an RBI double against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning in Game Four of the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 24, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 24: Enrique Hernandez #14 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates as he hits an RBI double against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning in Game Four of the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 24, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Reportedly, the Boston Red Sox are interested in pursuing Kike Hernandez at second base.

For the last 14 years, there’s been one mainstay on the Boston Red Sox Opening Day roster: second baseman Dustin Pedroia. During that 14-year stretch, Pedroia played 1,512 games, hitting .299 with 140 home runs and 725 RBIs. Unfortunately, knee injuries have derailed the latter part of Pedroia’s career, presenting a new need for the Red Sox in 2021.

According to MassLive.com, multiple sources have confirmed the Red Sox are interested in pursuing free-agent utilityman Kike Hernandez to take over at second base. Hernandez, a primary second baseman and outfielder, has seen time at every defensive position save catcher during his past six seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In six years with the Dodgers, Hernandez owns a .240/.312/.425 batting line, recording 68 home runs, nine triples, and 213 RBIs. His defense is borderline elite, especially when kept at his home position of second base. Last season, Hernandez finished fourth-overall in NL Defensive WAR (0.9). Nolan Arenado and Javier Baez finished above Hernandez on this list, both of whom own at least one Gold Glove Award.

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Last season, Pedroia was sidelined the entire year with his injury struggles. The Red Sox used six players as a replacement cast for the four-time All-Star with Jose Peraza, Jonathan Arauz, Christian Arroyo, and Michael Chavis seeing the majority of this action. Peraza departed to the New York Mets via free agency while Arroyo was picked up by the Cleveland Indians off waivers in August.

Boston will look to improve both offensively and defensively at second base next season. Last year, Red Sox second baseman combined to hit .220, recording only three home runs and 18 RBIs. In 48 games last season, Hernandez eclipsed all of these offensive marks.

Perhaps the most attractive part of this proposed union is Hernandez’s ability to play the outfield. Aside from Jackie Bradley Jr., the Red Sox are also in need of defensive help at the outfield. By all means, this seems like a win-win situation.

Hernandez has some familiarity with Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora stemming from the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Cora operated as the general manager of the Puerto Rican national team, recruiting players, including Hernandez, to a team that finished second behind the United States.

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And, of course, Hernandez has appeared in three World Series with the Dodgers, winning the 2020 championship.