Dodgers Rumors: Kiké Hernandez Agrees To Contract, Avoids Arbitration

Dodgers Rumors: Kiké Hernandez Agrees To Contract, Avoids Arbitration

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Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to a handful of free agents, the Los Angeles Dodgers went into the offseason with a slew of players who were eligible for salary arbitration. Among them was utility man Kiké Hernandez, which marked a first for him.

Hernandez joined the Dodgers prior to the 2015 season as part of the return from the Miami Marlins in their blockbuster trade for Dee Gordon. Hernandez made an immediate impact with Los Angeles, struggled in 2016, then rebounded last season.

Friday morning represented the deadline for teams and players to reach agreements on new contracts and avoid arbitration hearings.

Such became the case with Hernandez and the Dodgers, as they came to terms on a one-year, $1.6 million contract, per Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball:

In 342 plate appearances across 140 regular season games, Hernandez hit .215/.308/.421 with 24 doubles, two triples and 11 home runs.

He received the bulk of his opportunities against left-handed pitching, batting a robust .270/.367/.579 with 25 extra-base hits over 177 trips to the plate. That was right in line with his career splits against southpaws, in which Hernandez owns an .883 on-base plus slugging with 30 doubles and 19 home runs across 442 plate appearances.

Hernandez appeared at all but two positions for the Dodgers during the 2017 season, seeing the majority of his time in the outfield. He logged 163.2 defensive innings as a center fielder, followed by 122.2 innings in left field and 119 innings in right field.

The 26-year-old enjoyed a memorable postseason series against the Chicago Cubs, where he slugged three home runs and seven RBI in the deciding Game 5 that ultimately propelled the Dodgers to its first World Series appearance since 1988.