Ramon Hernandez probably isn’t very happy with his agent right now.
Yesterday he re-signed with the Reds for one year and $3 million, but now John Buck has reportedly agreed to a three-year, $18 million deal with the Marlins.
Buck parlayed a career-year into $18 million, yet his career-year really wasn’t better than Hernandez’s performance this season. Buck hit .281 with an .802 OPS in 113 games and threw out 28 percent of steal attempts. Hernandez hit .297 with a .792 OPS in 97 games and threw out 34 percent of steal attempts.
And while Buck is four years younger, he’s hardly a good choice for a three-year contract and Hernandez’s pre-2010 track record is vastly superior. Obviously it would have been tough to predict that the Marlins would decide to overpay for a mediocre catcher coming off a career-year, but if the catching market yields an $18 million deal for Buck it sure seems like Hernandez should have done better than $3 million.
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.