The Braves added Felix Hernandez to their list of rotation options on Monday, signing the right-hander to a minor league deal that includes an invite to Spring Training. Hernandez would earn $1 million if he makes the Atlanta roster.
While the current version of Felix Hernandez is a sizable departure from the dominant ace that resided in Seattle for the past 15 seasons, the Braves are making a minuscule bet that they can unearth some of the brilliance that may still lie within. Hernandez has seen his fastball velocity diminish considerably in recent seasons, which could be attributed to the incredible workloads he carried while with the Mariners. If Atlanta can rehabilitate Hernandez to some degree or aid him in the reinvention of his arsenal, then there could be potential for a rebirth with the Braves. Analyst Mike Fast could potentially be of some assistance in either case, as his expertise with spin rates may bode well for a pitcher so reliant on command and deception.
In addition to the hope that Hernandez can provide some semblance of productive innings this season for Atlanta, his mere presence in Braves camp should provide the young arms with a well-known source of knowledge. Hernandez has reached the pinnacle of the sport, and while his current standing in the game may not reflect his true talents, the Braves would do well to keep their stable of pitching prospects in close proximity to the right-hander for the duration of Spring Training. Regardless of the results that Hernandez achieves during his time with the Braves, it is certainly a welcome surprise to see Atlanta add yet another high-profile veteran to its pitching staff.
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A primer for the upcoming Hall of Fame announcement, which will unveil the 2020 class.
Stick around, tough guy.
Eduardo Perez seems like a good choice to right the ship in Houston. Do I want the Astros to lose every game in 2020 regardless of their managerial choice? Yes. But Perez comes across as a great clubhouse presence and someone for whom it would be easier to find a rooting interest.