CLEVELAND — The Indians traded their All-Star shortstop. They’re hanging on to their steady second baseman.
Free agent César Hernández, who had a strong 2020 season with Cleveland, has agreed to return on a one-year contract, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The team and Hernández have an agreement, which includes a club option for 2022, in place and it will become official once medical tests have been completed.
Hernández is playing in Venezuela, and it could be days before the everything is finalized, said the person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal is still pending.
The signing of Hernández provides some stability to Cleveland’s infield, which has a major hole to fill at shortstop following Francisco Lindor’s trade to the New York Mets. A switch-hitter, Hernández may move into Lindor’s leadoff spot in the lineup.
The Indians cleared over $30 million from their payroll in trading Lindor and starter Carlos Carrasco. And while the team won’t be signing any big names, Cleveland is expected re-invest some of that money by being aggressive in going after second-tier free agents.
Hernández batted .283 in 58 games and led the AL with 20 doubles in the pandemic-shortened season. He played excellent defense, committing just four errors and winning a Gold Glove for the first time.
The Indians acquired young middle infielders Andres Giménez and Amed Rosario in the Lindor deal and it was expected one of them would play second before Hernández was brought back. Now, it’s not clear what the plans are for Giménez and Rosario.
The 30-year-old Hernández has a career .277 batting average. He hit a career-high 15 homers in 2018 for the Phillies and led the NL with 11 triples in 2016.
NEW YORK — The baseball Hall of Fame won’t have any new players in the class of 2021 after voters decided no one had the merits — on-the-field or off — for enshrinement in Cooperstown on this year’s ballot.
Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were among the closest in voting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America released Tuesday, and the trio will have one more chance at election next year. It’s the first time the BBWAA didn’t choose anyone since 2013.
Schilling, a right-handed ace who won three World Series, finished 16 votes short of the 75% threshold necessary for enshrinement after coming up 20 votes shy last year.
Bonds (61.8%) and Clemens (61.6%) joined Schilling in falling short on their ninth tries on the ballot. Both face suspicions of performance-enhancing drug use — Clemens has denied using PEDs and Bonds has denied knowingly using PEDs.
Bonds also has been accused of domestic violence and Clemens of maintaining a decade-long relationship with a singer who was 15 when they met.
Schilling, Clemens and Bonds will be joined on next year’s ballot by sluggers Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz. Rodriguez was suspended for all of the 2014 season for violating MLB’s PED policy and collective bargaining agreement, and Ortiz’s name allegedly appeared on a list of players who tested positive in 2003.
Omar Vizquel, an 11-time Gold Glove winner, dropped from 52.6% last year to 49.1% after his wife accused him of repeated domestic abuses in December. Braves star Andruw Jones, arrested in 2012 on a domestic violence charge, got 33.9% in his fourth year. Rockies slugger Todd Helton, who pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and was sentenced to two days in jail last year, got 44.9% in his third time on the ballot.