The Phillies, Giants and Blue Jays are among the teams that touched base with the Mariners regarding Teoscar Hernández, reports Jon Morosi of MLB.com (Twitter link). Morosi indicates upwards of six teams have been involved and that a deal involving Hernández before tomorrow’s deadline looks increasingly probable.
None of that registers as a surprise. Seattle has hinted at potentially dealing short-term veterans for a couple weeks. They began that by sending Paul Sewald to Arizona for three controllable hitters this afternoon. While Sewald had an extra year of arbitration, Hernández is a few months from the open market.
The veteran outfielder is amidst a down season. He carries a .238/.288/.408 batting line through 441 plate appearances into play Monday night. He’s connected on 16 home runs but is striking out a lofty 32% clip, his highest mark since 2019. Hernández got off to a dreadful start to his Seattle tenure. He’d seemed to turn the corner with a .303/.376/.573 showing in June before a massive .198/.248/.287 slump this month.
Despite the middling season, Hernández is a straightforward change-of-scenery target. He hit .283/.333/.519 through his last three years in Toronto. While his offensive numbers have collapsed this year, he’s arguably playing the best defense of his career. Hernández has rated as a below-average right fielder for the bulk of his career but gotten solid marks (+5 Defensive Runs Saved, +1 run above average per Statcast) across 801 1/3 innings there this year.
Each of the teams linked to his market has expressed an interest in adding some right-handed punch. It’d be a bit surprising to see the Blue Jays circle back on Hernández nine months after trading him, but the acquisition cost this summer would be much lower than what they received from Seattle (reliever Erik Swanson and pitching prospect Adam Macko). Toronto has left-handed hitting Daulton Varsho and Brandon Belt at left field and designated hitter, respectively, though Varsho has been better against same-handed pitching this season.
Philadelphia is openly targeting a right-handed hitting corner outfielder. With Bryce Harper able to play first base, they’re looking to move Kyle Schwarber to DH and add some pop in left field. They’ve also been linked to the Mets’ Tommy Pham and Red Sox’s Adam Duvall.
San Francisco and Seattle are frequent trade partners. They just lined up a deal this evening that sent AJ Pollock and Mark Mathias to the Bay Area. Pollock is having a poor enough season that Hernández could still be of interest. San Francisco will be without Mitch Haniger into September and just placed Mike Yastrzemski on the injured list for the third time this season. They have Austin Slater on hand as a right-handed hitting outfielder but enough short-term uncertainty in left field to make Hernández a potential fit.
Hernández is making $14MM this season. He’s due around $4.67MM through year’s end.