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Could the Padres trade for David Hernandez?

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Yes, “Who?!” is an appropriate response

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Fangraphs recently put out an article detailing just how dominant David Hernandez has been. On the surface, Hernandez doesn’t look like an elite reliever. However, advanced analytics tell a much different story. If the Reds become sellers (they will) then it could be a great option for the Padres. They’re in need of immediate help, but certainly have no interest in mortgaging their future. Hernandez is 34 and could be a good 1-2 year option. He’s unlikely to fetch high level prospects. He would be a good fit in the middle innings. Pitchers like Gerardo Reyes, Phil Maton, Robbie Erlin, Robert Stock and Matt Wisler are understandably expendable if the right arm is available. Lefties Brad Wieck and injured Aaron Loup have big question marks. They likely don’t have a place on the roster within 2-3 years anyway.

One thing is certain- the bullpen is not just a liability, but dangerous in that it’s putting more unnecessary pressure on our effective young starters and relievers. The team is just 2.5 games out of the wild card, so there’s a good chance they’ll be buying at the deadline.

FIP by relievers, min 30 IP (focuses solely on events controlled by a pitcher)

Kirby Yates: 1.14

Brad Hand: 1.57

Ryan Pressly: 2.05

Matt Barnes: 2.24

David Hernandez: 2.48

Josh Hader: 2.49

“That’s a list of some of the most feared relievers in the game, and Hernandez’s name is right there with them. His elite FIP stems from his ability to keep the ball in the park. He’s allowed just two dingers in 32 innings, good for the 13th-best HR/9 ratio in baseball. That would be his best mark since 2012, but it isn’t far off from the 0.65 HR/9 figure he posted in 2017 or his 0.84 mark last season.”

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/underrated-reliever-quietly-pitches-himself-toward-trade-candidacy/