The Los Angeles Angels have had a quiet offseason. They’ve signed Willie Calhoun, Jake Marisnick, and Richie Martin to minor-league deals while inking pitchers Adam Cimber and Zach Plesac to major-league contracts. Los Angeles also traded C Max Stassi and SS David Fletcher to the Atlanta Braves for 1B Evan White and LHP Tyler Thomas.
So, more must be done after Shohei Ohtani departed Anhaiem for the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier in the offseason.
And with that, the American League West team has some interest in utilityman Enrique “Kiké” Hernández, reports The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. As MLB Trade Rumors noted, the Los Angeles Angels are the first team to express interest in Hernandez this offseason. This is unsurprising as he has had double hernia surgery and a couple of lackluster seasons at the dish.
Hernández is a versatile player who can play multiple positions in a pinch, including outfield, second base, and shortstop. But he hasn’t been a good hitter since 2021, and his defense is his calling card.
During the 2022 and 2023 seasons, Hernández had difficulties with his batting. Despite his slow start with the Red Sox, Boston extended his contract, hoping for a better performance. Unfortunately, his slump persisted, leading to his mid-season trade back to the Dodgers.
The familiar surroundings seemed to provide a spark, and Hernández’s offensive numbers improved significantly after the deal. Despite the improvement, the overall picture remained concerning, with his combined performance across both teams falling short of expectations.
The trade to Los Angeles proved to be a shot in the arm for Hernández. After a lackluster first half in Boston (.222/.279/.320), he thrived in familiar surroundings, slashing .262/.308/.423 in 185 plate appearances.
Bringing in Hernández would be a calculated gamble for the Angels. His recent struggles are undeniable, but the Dodgers stint hints at his potential upside. If the familiar confines of Anaheim can rekindle that spark, he could be a valuable depth piece. However, if his bat remains dormant, the Angels could find themselves with another underwhelming addition.