We speculated about his impending departure, and it became a reality Thursday afternoon.
Hernandez is now headed to the Chicago White Sox.
Trade is official: Cesar Hernandez to Chicago, pitching prospect Konnor Pilkington to Cleveland.
In-division thing is overblown. CLE wasn't catching CHI in AL Central, and while Hernandez has a $6M option for '22, CHI will have Nick Madrigal at 2B, so they won't need Hernandez.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) July 29, 2021
Indians beat writer Zack Meisel makes a great point in that a trade within the division isn’t a huge deal.
The focus for the Indians is now on acquiring a Wild Card spot.
Not A Shocking Move
Hernandez was an obvious trade candidate for several reasons.
The first is that he is on a short-term deal that includes a club option in 2022.
As Meisel points out, the White Sox will get Nick Madrigal back next year, so Hernandez looks to simply be a rental.
That opens up the possibility of the Indians getting him back once again next season.
Hernandez is 31 years old and while he does have 18 home runs this season, his WAR is still below 1.0.
This also depends on further moves yet to be made, but Gimenez returning seems to be in the cards.
We have traded 2B Cesar Hernandez to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for LHP Konnor Pilkington.
Pilkington was a 3rd round pick in 2018 and currently leads the Double-A South League is lowest average against (.173) and WHIP (0.92).
Welcome to Cleveland, Konnor! pic.twitter.com/23EXLPiMJr
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 29, 2021
The Indians are getting southpaw Konnor Pilkington back in the trade.
He is a former third-round pick who has made 14 starts in Double-A this season.
The lefty owns a 3.48 ERA and has a 10.3 K/9.
The Indians are still searching for that dominant left-hander in the starting rotation, so hopefully Pilkington can be that guy one day soon.
Already being at the Double-A level could mean he gets a start or two for the Indians later this season.
Losing Some Power
Hernandez being third on the team in home runs was a bit of a surprise, but still a pleasant one.
Some power is leaving the lineup, however, in return we will get to see younger players get more opportunities.
That is the goal for the Indians at this point given the 50-49 record.
A Wild Card spot is certainly attainable and the same is true with the division, even if the latter is far more unlikely.
This front office has shuffled in so many young guys, so trading away veterans allows players to get longer looks.
Gimenez is one player who certainly needs one, and Nolan Jones is another player who we should hopefully see soon as well.
The lack of power in the lineup is an afterthought when development comes into play.
Hernandez was a smart signing by the Indians and a trade was always likely.
And fans won’t be without him for too long, as the Indians and White Sox are preparing for a series that begins Friday.