Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Dodgers reacquired utility bat Kiké Hernández from the Boston Red Sox. However, they were not the only interested team as Hernández hinted that the SF Giants checked in on him as well.
Did the SF Giants target former Red Sox infielder prior to trade with division rivals?
Following the trade back to Los Angeles, Hernández appeared on the Foul Territory podcast, which is hosted by Scott Braun along with a rotating panel of former players, including Todd Frazier and Erik Kratz. Hernández was asked if any other team had interest in him prior to returning to the Dodgers and he strongly hinted that it was the Giants:
""I heard there was a team in California as well that wanted me. I'm not going to say which name, but it has a couple of ex-teammates on that team, so I think that team wanted me as well.""- Kiké Hernández
The hosts joked that it was the Oakland A's who had expressed interest. However, if you take a look at all of the other California teams, the Giants are the only ones who make sense. Among the California teams who appear to be buyers, it is the Giants, Dodgers, and Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels did not have any former teammates of Hernández from his time with the Dodgers, but the Giants certainly do. Ross Stripling, Joc Pederson, Alex Wood, and Scott Alexander were all teammates with the utility infielder for several seasons.
Plus, it bears mentioning that the Giants are among the teams looking for middle infield help, so it is highly likely that the Giants were interested in Hernández. The Giants know the right-handed bat well due to his seven-year run with the Dodgers beginning in 2015.
Over the years, Hernández proved to be a versatile player with a knack for platoon matchups as he has an .811 OPS in his career against left-handed pitching. It seemed like he would always come up with a clutch hit against the Giants.
That said, his tenure with the Boston Red Sox did not end on a high note. The 10-year veteran tallied a .599 OPS in 323 plate appearances with Boston in 2023 while seeing diminishing playing time toward the end of his tenure. The Dodgers ended up acquiring Hernández in exchange for bullpen prospect Justin Hagenman.
The trade market is light on impact names, and despite the fact that the Giants need middle infield help, there are not too many appealing options. Hernández may not have been considered an upgrade, but he does have a track record of success against lefties with multi-positional versatility.