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Dodgers re-sign Kiké Hernández after trading Manuel Margot to Twins

Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

PHOENIX — The Dodgers’ new-look roster isn’t set in stone yet.

On Monday, the team announced it had finalized a one-year contract with free-agent super-utility man Kiké Hernández after agreeing earlier in the day to trade outfielder Manuel Margot to the Minnesota Twins. The deal is worth $4 million, according to a person with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly.

The moves make sense for a Dodgers team still trying to improve around the margins.

They will get the $10 million they owe Margot — the veteran outfielder they acquired from Tampa Bay as part of the Tyler Glasnow trade this offseason — off their books. They’ll reportedly get shortstop prospect Noah Miller in return from the Twins.

Most importantly, they are reuniting with Hernández, the longtime fan favorite who was part of the club’s 2020 World Series team and returned to Los Angeles in a trade deadline deal last season.

A free agent who’d remained unsigned through the first few weeks of spring training, Hernández was reportedly deciding among four teams — the Angels, Twins, New York Yankees and San Diego Padres — over the weekend with a final decision expected to come as soon as Monday.

 

At the last second, however, the Dodgers swooped in to keep the 32-year-old with the organization, effectively swapping him for Margot in hopes Hernández will better suit the team’s roster needs.

Where Margot was expected to serve as a de facto backup in center field to James Outman, Hernández should give the Dodgers more “optionality,” a highly treasured asset to president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and the rest of the front office.

Hernández can play all three outfield spots, giving the Dodgers more flexibility at a position group that figures to have only two non-platoon players: Outman and offseason signee Teoscar Hernández.

Kiké Hernández can also slot in at any spot in the infield, providing some defensive insurance for Max Muncy at third base and Gavin Lux at shortstop.

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