The Chicago White Sox made some big trades at the 2021 MLB Trade Deadline. One of them was the trade for Cesar Hernandez of the Cleveland Indians. In their final season, before the name changed to the Cleveland Guardians, they made a few moves that suggested that they were going to let the White Sox run away with the AL Central by a lot.
In fact, by the end of it, the Detroit Tigers were the better team despite the third-place finish. Hernandez was a very good hitter for them but fr whatever reason, it wasn’t able to translate over to the Chicago White Sox. He simply was not very good during his short tenure on the south side.
With Cleveland, Hernandez hit 18 home runs in 96 games which is a very nice total. You can make a case that he was their second-best hitter up that point only behind the great Jose Ramirez. With the White Sox, he only hit three over the course of 53 games. By the end of the year, it was clear that Leury Garcia was the better option for the White Sox at second base.
Of course, the White Sox didn’t pick up his team option for 2022 so they can try and make an upgrade at second base. It was the right decision at the time with the departure of Nick Madrigal but it just didn’t work out. Luckily, they didn’t give up much in terms of value (Konnor Pilkington) to get him so the trade can’t fully be considered a bust.
The Chicago White Sox allowed Cesar Hernandez to walk and now he has a home.
Now, following the White sox letting him go, he was on the search for a new job. Most players want to find a new home before the pending lockout and Hernandez did. He signed with the Washington Nationals on a one-year deal worth four million dollars with an extra one million available to be earned in incentives.
It isn’t a bad deal for Cesar. It is a one-year prove it deal to see if he just couldn’t get comfortable on the south side. That is the case for MLB players from time to time. For whatever reason, he wasn’t able to be the Cleveland version of himself with the White Sox.
It is fair to root for Hernandez to bounce back. He made some spectacular plays with his glove and was timely with a few hits despite his struggles. He will always be a part of the 2021 team which was one of the most fun teams ever. It would also be nice to see the White Sox find a proper replacement for the position of second base.