Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Twins sign Livan Hernandez

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Twins sign Livan Hernandez

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...=.jsp&c_id=mlb

    FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins rotation won't be quite as young as expected in 2008.

    Facing the possibility of a rotation where no starter was above the age of 26, the Twins added some veteran experience to the mix on Tuesday when they agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract with right-hander Livan Hernandez.

    Hernandez's contract will include performance-based incentives that could raise its value to $7 million. That is the amount the right-hander earned last season with the Diamondbacks, when he went 11-11 with a 4.93 ERA.

    By adding Hernandez, who turns 33 on Feb. 20, the Twins got the guy who was considered to be one of the top free-agent pitchers still available on the market.

    "Livan is exactly what we were looking for to help our rotation," Twins general manager Bill Smith said on Tuesday afternoon. "We feel that he's the best guy available and that he fills the bill for us."

    After trading ace Johan Santana to the Mets and losing pitcher Carlos Silva to free agency this winter, the Twins had lost a significant portion of their innings pitched from last season. Santana and Silva combined to throw 421 innings for the Twins in '07.

    Hernandez will give the Twins a proven workhorse that had been previously lacking in the staff. He leads the Majors in innings pitched since 2003 and has tallied at least 200 IP every season since 2000.

    "He's been durable," Smith said. "He's never been on the disabled list. He's an innings-eater. And I think he's going to be a good influence on the rest of our staff."

    The departures of Santana and Silva had also left the very young Twins rotation without a true veteran presence to help guide the staff. Scott Baker and Boof Bonser were the two "veterans" of the group, each with a total of 48 career starts to his name.

    Despite having what looked to be a very youthful starting staff, the Twins front office had recently made it clear that they were only interested in adding a veteran pitcher if he would improve their rotation. The club cited last season's free-agent signings, Sidney Ponson and Ramon Ortiz, as examples of veterans who only ended up delaying the arrival of some of their younger starters.

    But Hernandez is a guy that the Twins are counting on to help deliver on the field and off of it.

    "I think he's going to be a help to all of our staff -- Francisco Liriano, Baker, Bonser, Kevin Slowey and the list goes on," Smith said. "He'll give us that veteran presence that was missing."

    A native of Cuba, Hernandez holds a 134-128 lifetime record with a 4.25 ERA in 350 career starts. Generally considered a clutch performer, Hernandez is perhaps best known for his outstanding performance throughout the 1997 playoffs for the Marlins, which culminated in his winning the National League Championship Series and World Series MVP Awards.

    One potential concern is that Hernandez has spent his entire 12-year career in the National League, pitching for Florida, San Francisco, Montreal, Washington and most recently Arizona. Now comes the challenge of having to face the more offensively potent lineups in the American League.

    "He's going to have some adjustments, certainly," Smith said of the change in leagues for Hernandez. "But again, he's a battler, and we think he'll make the adjustments and that he'll fit in well in our rotation."

    The Twins rotation now could feature Baker, Liriano, Hernandez, Bonser, and Slowey. Other pitchers expected to vie for spots this spring are right-handers Nick Blackburn, Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Zach Day, and left-handers Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing and Randy Keisler.

    Adding Hernandez's contract brings the Twins expected payroll for '08 to near $55 million. That's still close to $16 million less than the club's Opening Day payroll of $71 million last season.

    There is certainly room in the budget to make more moves and Smith said the club hasn't completely nixed the idea of making any other changes before the start of Spring Training.

    "We're reporting on Sunday for pitchers and catchers, but we're always continuing to look," Smith said. "If we can find the right fit or somebody that makes our club better, we'll do it. There are still some very good players left on the board that don't have jobs yet. Sometimes it's a matter of a fit for your organization and we were happy that Livan Hernandez fit in well with us right now."

  • #2
    Well, it's definitely a low risk move, and the Twins certainly needed a veteran for their rotation. You know he's going to give you around 200 innings (the only year since 1998 that he failed to pitch at least 200 innings was in 1999, when he pitched 199.2), which is pretty much what the Twins want from him. I don't see him improving much on the 11-11, 4.93 ERA that he posted last season.
    www.rotoprofessor.com a daily baseball blog featuring rankings, rookie reviews, news and much more. Check it out!

    Comment


    • #3
      it's funny, i remember a while back when the mets were talking about getting Livan....funny how things work out.
      NL Wild Card
      1999 2000

      NL East Division Champs
      1969 1973 1986 1988 2006

      National League Champs
      1969 1973 1986 2000

      World Champs
      1969 1986

      Comment


      • #4
        Livan's era was 4.93 and he gave up 34 hrs last year in the NL.

        So what does that translate to in the AL and at the dome? 5.40 era, 42 homers?

        They just gave away 5 mil.

        Josh Fogg had a 4.15 era on the road last year. Why not pick him up instead? 2 million less and probably 10% better numbers.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by probert2436 View Post
          Livan's era was 4.93 and he gave up 34 hrs last year in the NL.

          So what does that translate to in the AL and at the dome? 5.40 era, 42 homers?

          They just gave away 5 mil.

          Josh Fogg had a 4.15 era on the road last year. Why not pick him up instead? 2 million less and probably 10% better numbers.
          Carlos Silva posted a 5.94 ERA two years ago and rebounded to a very respectable 4.16. Just because a guy has one bad season doesn't mean he's stuck throwing batting practice for the rest of his career.

          Josh Fogg put up decent numbers away from Coors Field last year, but what about the rest of his career to date? 2002 he was pretty good, 2003 he was bad, 2004 he was average, 2005 he was bad, and 2006 he was bad.

          Livan, on the other hand, has pitched 11 major league seasons, started 350 games, averaged 230 innings per season, and only once had an ERA above 5.00.

          No, this guy won't be our savior. No, he won't put up Santana-esque numbers. But I don't think this is a bad signing considering our staff "veterans" were previously Boof Bonser and Scott Baker.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by probert2436 View Post
            Josh Fogg had a 4.15 era on the road last year. Why not pick him up instead? 2 million less and probably 10% better numbers.
            As insanefishpossay pointed out, Josh Fogg has been pretty inconsistent over his career, whereas Livan has been a rock, posting 10-15 Ws and a 3.80-4.40 ERA in a majority of his past seasons.

            Fogg, as opposed to Livan, is also used to being a 4-5 starter, and has only pitched over 178 innings twice in his career. Livan, on his part, has pitched an average of 222 innings over his last 3 seasons, while Fogg has pitched only an average of 169.

            Personally, I think Livan is a better option, since he has been a proven no. 1 starter and can guide all the Twins' young starters effectively, whereas Fogg is an ultimate journeyman, with no experience as a 1-3 starter, and therefore could not guide these youngsters as well as Livan will.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'd rather have Livan at $5M than Bett Tomko at $3M.
              Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KCGHOST View Post
                I'd rather have Livan at $5M than Bett Tomko at $3M.
                Who wouldn't?

                He looks like a heck-of-a-lot-of-trouble waiting to happen.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Fonz View Post
                  it's funny, i remember a while back when the mets were talking about getting Livan....funny how things work out.
                  Somehow I doubt Twins fans are laughing.
                  :cap:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I definitely think that they need an innings-eater with such a young staff, but I really find it hard to believe that they could end up paying this guy $7 million (with incentives).

                    I guess If he can give the Twins the following line, they made the right call.

                    32+ Starts
                    200+ Innings
                    4-5 CG
                    13-15 Wins
                    4.20-4.40 ERA (it's the potential 5.20 ERA that has me worried)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've been a fan of Livan for a long time. He needs to keep his walks down. I hope he has a great season.

                      Comment

                      Ad Widget

                      Collapse
                      Working...
                      X