With the options for hitters on the free agent market so slim this offseason, securing Teoscar Hernández was a major win the Dodgers. At Dodger Stadium, his new home base and a more hitter-friendly park than T-Mobile was for him with the Mariners, Hernández is expected to crush lefties and take up an everyday position in the outfield. The $23.5 million they signed him for was met with some scrutiny from onlookers, especially with the $8.5 million in deferred money, but the addition only further solidified the Dodgers lineup as one of the most formidable in baseball.
To commit to Hernández is one thing; to sign him to a one-year deal is quite another.
After some shuffling that saw Michael Busch and Yency Almonte sent off to the Cubs, the Dodgers were finally able to make Hernández's signing official on Jan. 12. He's been making some requisite "Welcome to LA" media appearances since then, the most recent being an interview on SportsNet LA, where he dropped some interesting insights on what motivated him to sign with the Dodgers.
Almost more importantly, though, he somewhat shaded the other teams were interested in him before he signed. Hernández didn't name names, but we can surmise that he was talking about the Dodgers' competitor for his services in Boston.
Teoscar Hernández seemingly shades Red Sox after signing with Dodgers
Hernández cited his desire to "go to a team that can compete every year, a team that can win and can play in the playoffs" in free agency. He said he "had a couple of choices [...] and at the end, it came to an easy decision." A player saying that he wants to go to a team that can win isn't exactly revelatory; Jacob deGrom bore the brunt of some hassling after he cited the Rangers' goal to win the World Series as his reason for signing. However, the reference to the Red Sox does add a little bit of spice.
The Red Sox have been the AL's biggest laughingstock of the offseason, with chairman Tom Werner vowing the team would go "full throttle" in the offseason only to walk those comments back. Their offer to Hernández, two years and $28 million, just wasn't good enough in the end. Boston also hasn't filled out the profile that Hernández referenced in a few years. Despite two World Series wins in the past decade, the Red Sox have had some abysmal years in between. Conversely, the Dodgers have been in the playoffs every years since 2013.
Making fun of the Red Sox might be punching down a little, but Hernández knows he made the right decision and the Dodgers will be better for it. There's always next year, Boston.