roberto hernandez raysIn the vein discussed a little bit ago, the Chicago Cubs aren’t likely to make a big splash this offseason on the free agent market. Instead, you can look for them to continue to target short-term, low-cost players that they can see providing “value.”

To that end, as the Cubs pursue multiple starting pitching options – for performance, depth, and, let’s be honest, flippability – like Scott Baker and Jason Hammel, you can add another starter to the mix: Roberto Hernandez.

Ken Rosenthal says the Cubs are among the teams interested in the 33-year-old righty formerly known as Fausto Carmona. I am not surprised to see the Cubs going after Hernandez, as I wrote about the possibility just a little over a week ago:

There are some positive signals [in Hernandez’s performance], like his increased K rate (17.6%) and reduced BB rate (5.9%) last year. He got a ton of groundballs, and generally pitched well enough to be a satisfactory fifth starter in most rotations … except for the home runs. Almost 21%(!!!) of the flyballs he gave up last year left the ballpark. He gave up a ridiculous 1.43 HR/9, which was much higher than his career mark (which, at 0.94 per 9, is already fairly high). Some of that is due to his own mistakes, but usually you see positive regression in a situation like that. If he comes for a song, sure, sign him. He’s 33, and has the potential to develop some flip value by the deadline. But, make no mistake – that’s all he would be.

Yeah, I pretty much stand by that now that I know the Cubs might actually be interested. There are better back-end options, but maybe not ones that will provide as much possible surplus value as Hernandez (read: dudes with upside who will sign for cheap). The question: is that 2.97 K/BB ratio last year the real Hernandez, or is the real guy the one we used to call Carmona, who had a much more pedestrian 1.55 K/BB ratio before coming to the Rays last year?

Hernandez fits the mold of the pitchers the Cubs are targeting, generally, this offseason (starter or reliever): no significant velocity concerns, poor results recently based on a likely-to-normalize HR/FB rate, and other “bad luck” indicators (BABIP, LOB%, etc.).

For a few million bucks, Hernandez is a fine addition, and he doesn’t stop you from going after Tanaka.

  • Fishin Phil

    Are you sure he’s 33?

    • Brett

      Aged about four years in the last two.

    • Oswego chris

      Like Juan Cruz, when they get to spring training they will wish him happy birthday…4 times

  • Senor Cub

    Oh brother….. don’t we have enough ineffective pitchers on the shelf. C’mon don’t make moves for the sake of making moves. I don’t buy any of this “flipable” crap anymore. Let’s get serious or just sit it out.

    • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

      Sitting it out isn’t very serious either

  • mdavis

    Sahadev tweeted about having a trade offer for a position player…anyone have any guesses? And I wouldn’t mind Carmona on the cheap…as long as he can change his name back to Fausto Carmona that is.

    • YourResidentJag


      • C. Steadman

        if its schierholtz then we’re really screwed for quality OF’ers…Lake/Sweeney/Bogey as starters? vitters if healthy?

        • mdavis

          hm. when i read it i thought it was a trade to acquire a player. not trade one.

          • C. Steadman

            thats how I read it too, but it says “trade offer on a position player”…thats unclear and could go both ways

            • gocatsgo2003

              He followed-up with a tweet that it is a trade offer OUT on a position player, meaning that it is to acquire a position player.

            • mdavis

              good point. hopefully we’ll hear bout it (meaning something happened)

      • C. Steadman

        it was unclear in the tweet whether the trade offer was for a cub or the FO trying to get a position player…could be acquiring a guy instead

        • mdavis

          true i guess i read it since they had an offer out on a reliever, a starter, and a trade on a position player, it was in the same vein. as in an offer out for trade. but who knows. was just curious if anyone had a guess or two. since its been a tad slow on the cubs makin moves front haha

      • salesguy

        Personally, when I heard that, my first thought was, I hope they’re going after Domonic Brown. Couple of sites mentioned some pieces that could do this earlier in the week. Even if to get him it costs us someone like Jackson, and another piece or two I say go for it. To me that’s really the only thing that makes sense, as far as why you would be looking at a pitcher like Hernandez, you’re thinking that you might have a hole to fill soon. The cubs already have several candidates to fill out the rotation, why would you be looking at a 33year old mid rotation high upside pitcher, unless you were preparing to dump one.

    • DarthHater

      If we’re talking name changes, the Cubs should sign Suk-Min Yoon and all other Cubs players should change their first name to Suk.

      • Fishin Phil

        Hmmm, let’s try that out: Suk Rizzo, Suk Castro, Suk Schierholz, Suk Castillo.

        Naw, too confusing.

        • scorecardpaul

          how bout listing them alphabetically…
          Castro Suk, Rizzo Suk, Schierholz Suk. Does that help?

    • frank

      How about just “Faustus”?

      • DarthHater

        Mephistopheles Carmona. I like it.

    • cubbiehawkeye

      Sheirholtz gets traded for a righty and Choo signs with the Cubs….just a guess.

    • cub2014

      dominic brown

      • cubbiehawkeye

        You wouldn’t see me complain if they had acquired Dominic Brown but I’d rather have a stop gap right hander that could be of equal value to sheirholtz.

        • cub2014

          brown has his flaws but he gives you left handed
          power OF that is cheap and tied up until 2018. He
          fits short term and long term plan.

          • mdavis

            maybe someone like Drew Stubbs? obviously not a name to blow you away, but could be a platoon guy, good D, steals bases has some pop. I just don’t thnk it will be a big name player really.

          • cubbiehawkeye

            We are short as far as young left handed bats so I’d be alright with Dominic Brown because for that reason but I feel like we are taking on too many left handed outfielders….maybe no such thing as too many left handed bats…I don’t know. I guess it depends on what we have to give up along with Sholtz to get Dominic Brown.

            • cub2014

              we have 2 platoon left handed hitting
              outfielders and a AAAA left handed
              hitting outfielder. so we certainly dont
              have too many lefty outfielders. we need
              real lefty hitters at the top of the order.

      • Eric

        He would be way too expensive.

  • gocatsgo2003

    Also on the pitching front… recently-DFA’d Luis Marte from the Tigers looks like he could be a relatively interesting possibility out of the ‘pen.

  • Spoda17

    Wow, we are rumored to be in on almost everyone… I heard we were interested in picking up Jesus Christ… too bad he can’t hit a curve ball… just a rumor tho…

  • woody

    Man, it”s going to be a long winter!

  • Jon

    Colby Rasmus, I hope.

    • mdavis

      i think i read the Jays wanted a starter for him, and he only has one year left. I’d like to acquire him, but would prefer more control then that.

  • Funn Dave

    Jesus Brett, this is the twelfth article today. Take it easy! It’s the offseason!

    • Senor Cub

      Dave – I was about to say the same thing…Brett – your fingers are going to fall off. I hope you have one of those voice recognition software packages that type everything for you…

    • Brett

      At least two more on the way. Winter Meetings!

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Trade offer sounds like DeAza

    • Senor Cub

      We don’t want any south side trash..they can keep that.

  • Bret Epic

    Cubs rumored to be on anyone not considered a major signing. Said to likely buy low on any candidate possible and likely flip them at trade deadline.

  • Cubbieblur

    Samardzija, Barney, and Vogelbach to Toronto


    Anthony Gose, Aaron Sanchez, and Sean Nolan or Alberto Tirado

    Gose can fit right into the outfield and the Cubs get two great pitching prospects as well.

  • SenorGato

    Not uninterested but they need to get him into shape. Still an interesting arm THO, more interesting than the likes of Scott Baker at this point.

  • TSB

    Eventually the FO will have to get players that are going to be on the Cubs’ contending team. This constant flow of Kelly Temps to be flipped at the deadline is getting tired.

    • Brian Peters


      • rockin’ dawg

        That’s why Domonic Brown is the only name mentioned here that makes sense.

  • Patrick G

    Blue Jays exploring a trade with a 3 team component. Hmmmm

  • Eric

    This off-season has been rough to watch from the Cubs’ perspective. This is the most active I’ve seen it in many years.

  • Pat

    Why not. Worth a chance on a one year deal.

  • macpete22

    Cubs interested in Mitchell Boggs per Jayson Stark

    • Jp3

      Who is Mitchell Boggs… Is 2015 here yet? Wait that’s right as someone mentioned earlier we’ve moved back the goalposts to 2016

  • The Dude Abides

    Looks like the Cubs have an offer out for two FA’s one reliever & one starter. Possible trade offer for an outfielder. All unnamed at this point. Wonder if we will get any or all three of the mystery players?

  • SalukiHawk

    Another competitor for the coveted #5 starter spot.

  • Tommy

    I’ll take a pass on this one.

  • Ed

    He’s going to the Phillies.

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