Kike Hernandez cites typical roster problem for scuttling Yankees courtship

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Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Kike Hernandez revealed on the “Foul Territory” podcast that he had an offer from the Yankees on the table before re-signing with the Dodgers. The utility star specifically pointed out that he preferred the Dodgers over the Yankees for a specific reason — the playing time.

“At the end, it came down to the Dodgers or Yankees,” Kike Hernandez mentioned. “[The Dodgers] have a lot of left-handed hitters in their lineup. The main reason [I signed] was they were able to guarantee me to start at least against left-handed pitchers to start the year and then from there on, anything can happen.

“The Yankees have a really good lineup as well, just like the Dodgers, but they have a lot of right-handed hitters and their lefties are not platoon guys,” the right-handed hitter said. “So the only way for me to get in the lineup was to either give guys days off or in case somebody got hurt.”

On Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced a one-year, $4 million contract extension with outfielder Kike Hernandez.

Kike Hernandez’s excuse

Kike Hernandez, known for his versatility, expressed his preference to remain with the Dodgers, citing familiarity with the organization and his comfort level after missing part of spring training due to personal reasons.

He stated that he opted for the Dodgers due to their abundance of left-handed hitters. Kike Hernandez highlighted his familiarity with the team and mentioned that since he was already late to spring training, he appreciated not having to relocate himself and his family across the country to Florida. He also noted the convenience of the Dodgers’ location in Arizona.

Aside from the convenience of remaining with Los Angeles, Kike Hernandez saw an opportunity for increased playing time compared to what he would have received in New York.

He explained that the primary factor in his decision was the Dodgers’ assurance that he would have the opportunity to start, particularly against left-handed pitchers at the beginning of the season, with potential for further opportunities thereafter. Kike Hernandez noted that while the Yankees also boast a formidable lineup akin to the Dodgers, they have a predominance of right-handed hitters, and their left-handed hitters are not typically utilized in platoon situations.

In 2023, Kike Hernandez participated in 54 games for the Dodgers following his transfer from the Boston Red Sox. During this period, he achieved a batting average of .262, hitting five home runs and tallying 30 RBIs.

Yankees fans gave mixed reactions

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