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]

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jerry Jones sets deadline for decision on Tony Romo’s future with Cowboys

Jason Kidd believes Isaiah Thomas is in NBA MVP race

Kyrie Irving takes blame for Cavs’ recent skid: ‘I need to demand more out of myself’

Ichiro Suzuki wants to play until age 50

Minute Maid Park doesn’t look the same without Tal’s Hill

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Six NFL teams have not renewed their daily fantasy deals

A Chicago Bulls and Jimmer Fredette reunion makes sense

Cardinals may look at a veteran to ultimately replace Carson Palmer

Ottawa Senators visit sick teen during road trip to Minnesota

Adrian Peterson works out with Jameis Winston, gets Dirk Koetter’s attention

Report: Martavis Bryant reinstatement ‘imminent’

The 'So, is this the last ride for the Dead Man?' quiz

Athletes in other sports (or famous professions) who played in the NCAA Tournament

2016 MLB playoff teams that won't make it back this season

Box Score 3/29: Free hats (Caps fans only)

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

Box Score 3/28: Wilt's last game

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

Athletes in other sports (or famous professions) who played in the NCAA Tournament

The 'So, is this the last ride for the Dead Man?' quiz

2016 MLB playoff teams that won't make it back this season

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

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