Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 12/21/12
Earlier this week, the Tampa Bay Rays made a somewhat quiet signing in bringing aboard Roberto Hernandez on a one-year, $3.25 million deal (insert witty comment about identity fraud and whether or not they got the right guy). The move was a bit surprising, given the Rays’ depth in their rotation, as well as the fact that the contract seems a bit heavy for a team like the Rays, especially when they have that depth in their rotation. And especially when it’s a guy who has been anything but consistent in the past few seasons, even before everyone found out he wasn’t exactly who we thought he was. The limited action in which we saw Hernandez last season, once his identity nonsense was sorted out, wasn’t pretty. He surrendered 14 earned in 12 innings of work in his three starts. He’s always been kind of a streaky pitcher, though, so we don't know what may have come from a full season of him in the rotation, playing in front of a decent defense. Nonetheless, this Hernandez/Carmona signing has a chance to pay big dividends for the Rays, for a variety of reasons. With the Rays, assuming he makes the final roster when March rolls around, Carmona will be a fifth starter. With the Cleveland Indians, he was at the top of the rotation, and was really the only arm they had after C.C. Sabathia was traded. He’s in a role with almost zero pressure with much larger names in front of him. Not to mention that the team around him overall is much better than it was in Cleveland. The defense behind him will be much better. This past season was the outlier for the Rays’ defense. It has consistently been better than anything that the Tribe fielded behind Carmona prior to 2012. It’s not a large contract. More importantly, it’s not a multi-year contract. That fact alone essentially takes the risk out of it. So even if Hernandez doesn’t return to his 3.06 ERA ways, he could still be very mediocre as a fifth starter and the deal would still probably be worth it. For his career, Hernandez is a pitcher with a 4.64 ERA, with a strikeout rate of just over five hitters per nine. He's a guy who relies on ground balls and the defense behind him to make the plays. Which is why this Rays team may actually be a terrific fit for him. Is anyone expecting Hernandez to return to his days of 200+ innings, an ERA barely over three, and an ERA+ near 150? Absolutely not. But the fact that his history indicates that he’s capable of such success, and with his identity issues now behind him, the reward for the Rays far outweighs the minimal risk that they’re taking in signing him to a one-year pact. [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Lincecum has been throwing in secret location

RG3 passes exit physical, clears way for release

Bryce Harper has great response to $400 million contract question

Cavs discussed three-team deal that would net them Melo

Celtics reportedly discussing Kevin Love trade

New York Giants to pursue Matt Forte?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joe Mauer to try wearing sunglasses to improve pitch tracking

Charles Woodson joining ESPN's 'Sunday NFL Countdown' team

A’s land Khris Davis from Brewers for prospects

Family of deceased Kyle Field construction worker awarded $53 million by jury

Chris Bosh to miss All-Star Game with calf injury, Al Horford to replace

NBA commissioner Adam Silver supports bringing sports betting in to the light

Why the Virginia Cavaliers are a National Championship contender

Cardiff City owner tells team to shoot more, because ugly men can marry beautiful women

Report: American Pharoah will make $35 million as stud in 2016

City hosts Tottenham in Valentine’s Day clash

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Is there a place for Aaron Hill with the Brewers?

The market for forwards may shape the NHL trade deadline

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

The most intriguing NBA story lines for the rest of the season

Report: Timberwolves ‘lament’ Andrew Wiggins missing weight-lifting sessions

Kevin Durant to the Warriors makes little sense

City of Atlanta, Braves fighting over iconic Hank Aaron statue

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker