Keeping Kike

Here is a strong case I will make for keeping Kike Hernandez. Kike was due 5.9 Million in 2020 but of course the pandemic slashed his salary due to the lower amount of games played. Looking at comparisons Kike should be making somewhere between 6 and 9 million per year. 

Lets take the high number. 9million. As I explain this example please keep in mind that it could be a 6 million average as opposed to 9 million average but I am using the 9M average just to explain a possible approach to signing Kike. Kike will be looking for a team who will offer him more money than the Dodgers are willing to pay or perhaps he wants a lengthier contract than whatever the Dodgers offer him.

This idea is similar to other contracts made in the league. Sign Kike for 6 years at an average of 9 mill per year. Total value 54 million for 6 years. However here is the twist. Reverse the contract so he makes 7 million, then 8, then 9 million then 10 million, then 10, and 10 million.

Here is the catch:  make years 1,2,and 3 incentive laden with benchmarks that if they are met his contract is automatically triggered in the fourth year. If not, then the team has the right to opt out. For example, he must hit 55 home runs in 3 years, benchmark 1, must hit at least 350 hits or maintain a minimum of .340 On Base Percentage with a minimum of 1000 plate appearances and extra bonus pay incentives for All Star Appearances and MVP votes etc… An incentive laden contract would be a great way to keep him here for at least 3 more years. After year 4 we could have a mutual opt-out option. This gives Kike the power to opt out to negotiate more money and also gives the Dodgers the opportunity to walk away if they need to or want to.. So in essence, the Dodgers secure Kike for 3 years and everyone is happy if his 4th year of contract is triggered  because that would mean that he performed as expected if not better. 

Is this a lot of pressure for a player to perform? Yes of course it is. But why would you have any other way as a team? Kike might be able to get that elsewhere without the incentives that this crazy writer threw out there but then he will not be a Dodger if he goes elsewhere. This is home for him. If the Dodgers can put 54 million on the table with the contingencies and another team puts on the table a 5 year deal for the same amount, Kike would be silly to not take my deal because remember…in my deal he has an opt-out option. If he does opt out, he does so in order to get more pay than the average amount he would have gotten in the 5 year 54 million deal. It is a win-win for both sides. 

Do you think this is too much money? By signing Kike you are killing two birds with one stone. If he wins the 2B spot at an average of 9 million per year that is a very cheap price for an everyday 2nd baseman. If he is used as utility you can divide the money in half and say you paid 4.5 million for a backup outfielder and 4.5 million for a rotational 2nd baseman. Either way you look at it, the price is a steal for the team and remember I made the argument for a 9 million average. As mentioned, perhaps the correct average is 6 million. Either way, it is easy to see that Kike is a better option at 2nd base than Lux. He has a much higher career batting average than Lux. Kike has a .240 average to Lux’s .210 career avg. Yes Lux has not really had a chance at the big level but do you risk losing Kike for a .210 player waiting in the works? I say trade Lux and give Kike the position. Kike’s career WAR is 10.0. However, Kike did have a 20 HR season in 2018. 

I think that going after Lindor is going to cost the Dodgers way too much money and they need to save chips for the Seager negotiations. This is another reason why Kike is a great option at 2B or Utility. I say sign him. 

Published by Pete Reyes

Dodger Fan since Fernandomania. I am a baseball aficionado and a former baseball coach. I am father of 3 and I am very proud that our Dodgers finally won the World Series. Follow me for some fun Dodger News and Updates.

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