Hot Stove 2010: Sox acquire Hermida

Hmm, I didn’t see this one coming. Not at all. The Red Sox today traded LHPs Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez for the rights to 25-year old OF Jeremy Hermida, who is entering his second year of salary arbitration. The 6-2, 222 Hermida has been slightly above average playing for the Marlins in the NL. As far as we can tell, he is potentially the fourth outfielder for this club in 2010; he may also be a trade chip as part of another deal. I think the latter may make more sense, because Hermida is pretty wretched with the leather and the Sox have more need for a right-handed OF reserve to spell J.D. Drew. So let’s take a look at what we got:

Hermida is well-known to scouts, who pegged his sweet left-handed swing as destined for big things; only those “big things” never came around. Over his career, Hermida has compiled a .265/.344/.425 line in 1,929 PA. Pretty solid, but having been a first-rounder in 2002 and ranked 4th best prospect in all of baseball in 2006, he has been a disappointment so far. His minor league line of .284/.398/.436 (no, that OBP is not a typo) suggest that there’s still potential to be tapped here. Theo Epstein commented that in addition to Hermida entering his peak years, he has been hampered by “soft-tissue injuries” which should not recur; Epstein sees this as a “value” move.

Hermida has a quick, smooth bat and hits plenty of line drives (19.7% lifetime). For a guy with decent size, Hermida doesn’t hit the ball very hard, and his power seems to be on the decline. He does his best on fastballs and changeups, but has struggled with slower breaking stuff in his career. He’s actually decently mobile, but shows very poor range in the outfield, suggesting that he may lack the instincts to play either corner on a regular basis. So unless we’re shipping him off somewhere else, the only thing I can think of is that is is an (unnecessary) “upside” trade; I hope we’re not going down the path of Wily Mo Pena again. He seems extraneous on this roster and ties up salary and room on the 40-man roster… He must be going somewhere else, I keep thinking… Unless the Sox are already planning ahead in case Jason Bay walks.

My 2010 projection for Hermida is .259/.341/.408 with 15 HR and 54 RBI, a wOBA of .339. That could scale up a bit if he stays healthy.

I am a little sad to see Jones go; he always put up great numbers in the minor leagues, but he never had a chance to do much here. He instantaneously becomes the LOOGY for the Fish next year, I would assume. Jose Alvarez is a small, skinny 20-year old prospect from Venezuela who signed as an international free agent at age 17. He has a very good changeup and he’s exhibited good control, but he has yet to rise above single-A and seems to be a mid-ceiling, organizational-type guy. I think Alvarez might have been eligible for the Rule 5 draft anyway this year, so not a huge loss.


7 Responses to Hot Stove 2010: Sox acquire Hermida

  1. Jeff Carini says:

    I posted this comment just a few days ago:

    November 2, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Jeff Carini
    If they can make a trade for Adrian Gonzalez, I think Nady’s the man for the job. 1 year deal with an option. That projected .350 OBP would be just fine at the bottom third of the line-up.

    Here are some left field trade candidates if the Sox look for an alternative to the free agents:

    Delmon Young
    Milton Bradley
    Adam Dunn
    Josh Willingham
    Ryan Ludwick
    Jeremy Hermida
    Mark Teahen

    Bradley has the baggage and a big contract, but his .400+ OBP would fit great in the Sox line-up when healthy.

    Hermida’s still only 25 and could be worth taking a flier on. Cheap contract and it wouldn’t cost the Sox a top prospect.

    Dunn’s a butcher in LF but His OBP and 40+ homeruns would certainly replace Bay’s bat in the line-up. If they can sign Dunn to an extension, they can move him to DH full time in 2011 and Reddick can take over in left. Washington will be looking for a lot in return however.

  2. Jeff Carini says:

    How about a Nady / Hermida platoon in left?

  3. redsoxtalk says:

    The thought occurs to me that the Sox may have a LF platoon in mind as plan B in case signing Holliday doesn’t work out. It makes sense to put some parts in place until we see how the negotiation plays out, b/c Boras ALWAYS drags it out as much as possible.

    Who are the available right-handed COFs you would like to see in a Sox uniform, should we reach this stage? I’d prefer a defensive-mided OF who could also be a 4th outfielder and bring some more pop to the team.

    I don’t know what the Angels have planned, but free agent Juan Rivera would fit the bill. Jermaine Dye had a .894 OPS against lefties in 2009. And Delmon Young was not bad against left-handers, with an .833 OPS.

    Hermida lifetime against RHP: 274/351/441/792
    Dye in 2009 against LHP: 292/387/508/894

  4. Jeff Carini says:

    I don’t believe Juan Rivera is a free agent this year.

    The Twins will may not be as inclined to trade Delmon Young now that Gomez has been dealt to the Brewers for JJ Hardy.

    Speaking of Twins, it will be interesting to see if they pick up Cuddyers option. I’dcertainly think the Sox would love his 32 homeruns and 97 rbi would work. He can play, left, right, 1st and could also fill in at 3rd if needed.

    Nady would work since he’s also played CF, RF and 1B.

    Marlon Byrd might work too. He can play all 3 outfield positions.

    Let’s just hope they sign Holliday.

    • redsoxtalk says:

      You’re absolutely right, Rivera is entering the 2nd year of a 3 year deal. Sorry, I must have mixed him up with someone else.

      I like his versatility, but don’t think we have a chance at Cuddyer. Without him, that Twins offense is just anemic.

      Nady is really more of a 1B/LF/RF. He was a trainwreck in CF when he played there. There’s a spot for a guy like that on our roster.

      I think Byrd is an interesting option, and may be a bit underrated because he is a good defender and has good gap power as opposed to HRs. He’s shown a little more patience in recent years, but that’s been erratic.

  5. redsoxtalk says:

    Baseball Prospectus notes that Hermida’s road splits are also encouraging at 276/359/456 over his career. That’s an .815 OPS.

  6. tim wright says:

    I like the hermida pick up, he’s young and you know how the sox can coach up hitting. He needs some work with his glove but I’d be ok with him and reddick patrolling the outfield

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