The Los Angels Dodgers have agreed to a one-year, $23.5 million deal with All-Star outfielder Teoscar Hernández. Reporter Moises Fabian of 97.9-FM in New York was the first to report the agreement. ESPN’s Jeff Passan was the first to report the contract details:
The deal will pay Hernández $15 million this season, with $8.5 million deferred to be paid from 2030-39. Hernández reportedly chose the Dodgers’ offer over other multi-year offers:
Hernández and the Dodgers have been linked all offseason long, but especially in the last few days. Saturday, it was reported that the Dodgers were the frontrunner to sign Hernandez. Sunday night came the first reports that a deal had been consummated.
Hernández, 31, is a power-hitting outfielder who crushes left-handed pitching — exactly what the Dodgers were looking for this offseason. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman confirmed in an interview with MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM earlier today that adding a right-handed bat was “front of mind for us.”
Hernández has a career .887 OPS against left-handed pitching, but can still hold his own against righties with a career OPS of .772.
Overall, Hernández has a .261 career batting average, along with 159 home runs and 473 RBIs, in parts of eight major league seasons. He won Silver Slugger awards in 2020 and 2021 during his time with the Toronto Blue Jays. He’ll likely be the Dodgers’ everyday left fielder, allowing Chris Taylor to move back to a full-time utility role.
Here’s what the Dodgers’ lineup potentially looks like with Hernández:
Significantly, the deferred money in Hernández’s contract will lower the annual value of his contract as calculated for competitive balance tax purposes. The Dodgers are projected to exceed MLB’s competitive balance tax for the third consecutive year in 2024. That means they will be taxed 95 percent on every dollar spent above $297 million, $40 million above the minimum tax threshold, under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Before signing Hernández, the Dodgers’ CBT payroll was estimated to be between $286 million and $288 million. The exact CBT payroll number now depends on the corresponding 40-man roster move the Dodgers must make when the contract becomes official, but Hernández’s deferrals could be instrumental in helping the team avoid the 95 percent payroll tax:
The Dodgers have committed more than $1.2 billion in new-money contracts this offseason, more than half of which will be deferred as part of Shohei Ohtani’s salary from 2034-43. Hernández could actually bring that number even higher if he achieves several performance-related incentives:
We will continue to have more analysis on this move, so stay tuned on dodgersnation.com.
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