Almost a month ago I wrote how fans of the Washington Nationals and of baseball in general should be glad that the team had not signed aged veteran Livan Hernandez to any sort of contract.
Of course I also wrote the word yet. Well the yet came today as the club has signed the 35 year old “innings eater” to a deal worth $900,000 in base salary with performance incentives.
Hernandez pitched well in spring training last year becoming a media darling when he made the New York Mets but it wasn’t long until he wore on the club and in 31 starts he was 9-12 with a 5.44 ERA in 183 2/3 innings.
When the club signed Shawn Estes a few weeks back I said it was a good signing because there was no guaranteed money for a veteran that didn’t have it anymore. Well Hernandez doesn’t have it anymore and he’s getting guaranteed money. So you know roughly what I think of this deal.
Further it doesn’t exactly let the Nationals evaluate some of the arms which really are in a make or break season as far as their careers are concerned. Instead the team will have to trot out Hernandez every fifth day and despite the fact he stinks they will try and spin it off as some way of saving their less then good bullpen innings.
Frankly if I was the Nationals I would fill my team with five starters, the five best relievers I had and then I would shuttle five guys back and forth between Triple-A and the majors for the remaining two or three spots on the club.
There should be no reason to “save innings” off of anyones arms when it’s time to know if these arms should be with the club in 2011 or working at your local Costco.
I’m not a fan of the Nationals at all so I’m not sure why this annoys me.