Do you guys remember when it was 2012 and we all were constantly worried about what the Phillies would do because every move would just be the most embarrassing win-now move ever? Like the Michael Young trade, or the Laynce Nix two year deal -- every move was another chance to think "Oh god the team has shown its true stripes again." In a way, the 2015-16 offseason has the same feeling, only it's less dread and more "oh right there's a Philadelphia based baseball team."
Matt Klentak -- owner of such blockbuster moves as "Acquiring Jeremy Hellickson for a pitcher who is barely in single-A" and "grabbing some guys you may or may not have heard of off waivers" -- has done it again, signing David Hernandez in a move that will be sure to make everyone in baseball say "Oh yeah that guy, wondered what happened to him." This isn't necessarily a critique. Klentak doesn't have too many options, since the major selling points of the 2016 Philadelphia Phillies are 1) It's a real live MLB baseball team, for at least another year, and 2) If you're good, we'll trade you to a contender. Jason Heyward ain't walking through that door.
But David Hernandez -- former bullpen ace for the 2011 and 2012 Diamondbacks -- is a pretty good Phillies target. Yes, you'll look at his last two seasons and see a 4+ ERA, and yes you'll notice that he gives up the longball rather a lot. And he's coming off Tommy John surgery, so while it's possible he bounces back and regains some of his form and velocity, it's also just as likely that he pitches in the low nineties and keeps serving up longballs.
But here's the thing: it doesn't really matter for either party. Presumably, Hernandez is in Philly for a brief stint, one or two years, and so the team gets a potential trade chip and Hernandez gets a chance to rebuild his value. And if he keeps striking people out, not walking folks, and then giving up a Kendrickian amount of home runs, the Phillies get to have someone soak up bullpen innings in a lost season without endangering their young relief corps.
Basically, Hernandez is the kind of player Klentak can target in free agency for his team that is literally not planning to content in 2016: someone who needs to rebuild value and who, for the Phillies, represents a high ceiling and a middling floor. That it's someone with the upside and track record of Hernandez is cause for no small happiness. So get excited, Phillies fans! Setup guy mania!