The Phillies have had discussions with a couple of teams about Cesar Hernandez, but the Angels seemed to be determined to get him this offseason. For their part, the Phillies aren’t in any hurry to deal Hernandez – or shortstop Freddy Galvis for that matter – and haven’t been blown away by the offers.
It’s likely that after the Angels acquired second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Detroit Tigers, they’re no longer going to go after Hernandez. It’s obvious that the Angels got tired of waiting around for the Phillies to agree to a deal and went with Plan B to acquire Kinsler.
Hernandez, 27, is eight years younger than Kinsler and is entering his second year of arbitration eligibility, while Kinsler is eligible to be a free agent following the 2018 season. It’s possible that the two teams could revisit the deal in a year if the Phillies don’t trade Hernandez before then, since Kinsler will be a free agent and Hernandez will be entering his final year of arbitration eligibility.
The Angels could also rekindle talks for Hernandez with an eye on moving him to third base. They’re shopping for a third baseman, but are reportedly more interested in Chase Headley from the Padres than getting Hernandez and moving him to third.
Kinsler has hit 50 home runs over the past two seasons, but his average dropped from .288 in 2016 to .236 in 2017. Hernandez has less power 15 home runs total in the past two seasons, but has hit .294 in each of those seasons. His on-base percentage has remained remarkably close – .371 in 2016, .373 in 2017 – and his slugging percentage has gone from .393 in 2016 to .421 this past season.
Defensively, Hernandez has also been remarkably consistent with a .981 fielding percentage in each of the past two seasons at second base; it was .984 in 2015. Kinsler’s went from .988 to .983 and he was an American League Gold Glover in 2016.
One source believes that the Angels were looking to make a one-for-one swap with either lefty Tyler Skaggs or young outfielder Brandon Marsh. The Phillies will certainly hold out for more than that in any deal for Hernandez. It’s also possible that the Angels offered both players for Hernandez, but the Phillies still weren’t sold. To get Kinsler, the Angels packaged right-hander Wilkel Hernandez and outfielder Troy Montgomery.