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Dodgers Rumors: Kiké Hernandez’s Reported Contract Demands Likely End His Time in LA



As the week of MLB’s annual winter meetings draws to a close, not a whole lot got done around the league. Or at least it feels that way. For the Dodgers, they made their biggest splash last week with the non-tender deadline deal for former Brewer All-Star reliever Corey Knebel. But when it comes to help at the big league level, that’s been about it for the club.

Still, the hot stove is trying to percolate.

On Thursday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic seemingly stirred the pot intentionally with a bold prediction that LA could be the top landing spot for free agent ace Trevor Bauer. However, beyond that, the rumors surrounding the Dodgers seem to involve their own free agent players potentially going elsewhere.

For example, Enrique Hernandez has been linked to the Minnesota Twins and Justin Turner to the Toronto Blue Jays. In the Turner case, most insiders feel like he returns to Los Angeles this winter. However, the Hernandez rumors might have more teeth. Particularly the ones that involve him leaving the Dodgers. And if you listen to one long-time MLB insider, you’d understand why.

Veteran scribe Peter Gammons recently tweeted what he’s hearing about Kiké’s contract demands this winter and, in all honesty, they make sense.

The key part to focus on, Kiké wants a 1-year deal with a team where he can pick up at least 500 plate appearances. In 6 seasons with the Dodgers, the 29-year-old got as many as 462 plate appearances with the club while playing premiere defense around the diamond. In short, he wants to play more.

Here’s a quick look at his career plate appearances by season.

Per Baseball-Reference 

  • 2014: 134 (HOU/MIA)
  • 2015: 218
  • 2016: 244
  • 2017: 342
  • 2018: 462
  • 2019: 460
  • 2020: 148

Not terribly close to his goal of 500.

So with the Dodgers potentially likely re-signing Turner, and 2021 being Gavin Lux’s time to prove himself at the big league level, the plate appearance totals would likely take a step backward for the utility man.

More and more — as much as many fans dislike hearing it — it seems like we have already seen the last of Kiké Hernandez in Dodger blue.

NEXT: MLB Writer Suggests Two Low Risk, High Reward Pitchers for LA

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. He deserves more playing time. For the past few years, many around the league (and on these boards) kept saying that the Dodgers backups and utility guys could start on a lot of other teams. Well…!

    • He got almost 500 at-bats in 2018 and 2019, He was given the regular 2B job but he didn’t hit enough to keep it. He did not hit right-handed pitchers that were why he became a bat against LH pitchers only. Any team that signs him will regret it. Peterson and Hernadez were a great match , one hit righthander and one-hit lefthanders,

  2. Yuck! I hate it when the kids leave home…but…they’ve got to get what they are worth, be it LA or anywhere but Houston.

  3. I will definitely miss Kike, but I completely understand his desire to get what he is worth even if that means playing somewhere else….just not the Astros, please. It seems that Kike’s defensive versatility may be appreciated elsewhere and he will get the playing time that he wants. If he leaves, I will wish him the best.

    • For all intensive purposes I live in giants country, when Baumgartner was pitching for the giants, all their announcers would say was how “Hernandez had ownage of their pitcher.” That & the three-homer game Kike had against the Cubs in the 2017 LCS. Otherwise, nothing really stands out.

  4. Overthinking this one. Kike deserves to go somewhere that will pay him more (if he can get it) and most certainly play him more. He’s leaving here after helping end a 32-year championship drought. Nothing to be overly sad about.

    • Not sure who is “overly sad” or “overthinking.” Everyone has pretty much said the same thing, including yourself, so something must be resonating. Many of us do not want to see Kike go, but we agree that he will have more opportunity (and money) elsewhere. For those of us who believed in the Dodgers during the 2020 postseason, Kike’s presence and contribution was definitely appreciated.

  5. Kike deserves a shot. He should get a nice contract. We are just too deep. Lux can play short and second for sure. And we have McKinstry waiting who can also play some outfield along with 2nd, short, and some third. Sad truth with the financial system in baseball. But McKinstry would be minimum salary and Lux MAY be able to win a job as the second baseman.

  6. The writer’s headline implies Kike is asking for big money and a long term contract. He is “demanding” neither. 500 pa’s is reasonable to be a full time ball player. I loved his personality and his contribution to the Dodgers. He is a good guy.

  7. What a joke this article and gut
    Y is. First of all he is not elite in any area. A 230 lifetime hitter who continues to flub the 2nd base turn, balls through his legs. Eye test and facts say he is hard a 500 ab guy. Zero upside as well. Love the article saying he hits 304 on the 3rx look at the left handed pitcher. That’s pathetic. Give me Lux or McKinsey any day over this clown.

    • I’m not impressed with Lux….yet. He was a disappointment this year when it really counted for him. But hopefully he’ll be ready this year. Kike came through in the clutch, as in previous years. That’s why he’s a fan favorite. Same with Joc and Turner.
      I’m good if we resign Kike, but if there’s a market for him, and trust me these mlb team execs know more than your backseat ass, then he should take a good opportunity. By the way, you’re the clown. What have you done to contribute to several division and league championships and 1 world series championship? Have you even ever come close to playing at the level of a major league player? Or have you ever been tasked with making these decisions for a mlb organization? If not then stfu. Kike, along with most professional athletes are there for a reason and are doing their best to do their job in a hyper competitive environment. They don’t need people like you calling them clowns.

  8. Wow, very surprised with all the negative vibes and comments regarding Kike. Remember this. No Kike, no Championship. I would love to have Kike return to LA, but he’s gonna make whatever decision that he feels is best for him.

  9. I would love to see Kike Hernández stay with the LA Dodgers because of his great defense ability and talent as a utility player that can play infield and outfield at any given time and I get it with his talent he deserves more playing time and money good for you Kike you earned it and you’ll be greatly missed. Thank you for your contributions in winning The 2020 World Series for The LA Dodgers! God bless you on your future endeavors!

  10. Well odly enough, although he desires 500 or so plate appearances, he’s asking for only 1 year. Anyway Freidman does want want another RHB and rightfully so to balance lineup. I am not too sure replacing Kiki with another LHB just yet, as JT is still unsigned as well. wss

  11. It’s Kike’s John Holmes mustache that didn’t sit well with Dodgers corporate personnel. Everytime he got a hit, he started swiping across that mustache with two fingers. Dodgers executives were turned off, if not disgusted by this gesture. But the execs couldn’t say anything against it fearing that would blow up in their face. In the end his mustache gesture was just too inappropriate to endure for another season.

  12. He can be a starter for a lower division team, he’s a plus defender, and replacement level hitter with a little power. if given the chance, he can have the kind of year that will award him a decent contract, and at the least, his versatility in the field will keep him in the bigs for years to come. It was clear he was going to leave for an opportunity better than being a cheerleader on a fully loaded team.

  13. Nothing is fully guaranteed. , in so far as Kike getting 500+ plate appearances on another team. If he shows he’s sub par against RHP but excellent against LHP, he may find himself in a platoon scenario depending upon who he ends up with. We pretty much know that if he’s on Dodgers, those 500 plate appearances will not happen.

  14. Kike is an outstanding Dodger! He is super clutch, just not an everyday player, his .230 average is what keeps him out of the every day lineup. resign Turner and Purchase or Trade for a Big Righthanded BAT!

    • But they kept muncy in with his .191 average in 2020 and bellinger slumped so bad and both still started at 1st and center. So WTH!

  15. Keep Like put Muncy on the waiver. Don’t appreciate his errors and strikeouts when he’s needed most. Good for a home run when no one’s on or zero outs. Put him up with 2 outs and game on the line and he can’t make contact over swinging for the fence. Big disappointment in Roberts using him in crunch situations. How do you spell choke M-u-n-c-y.

  16. As a true Blue fan, I must express my disappointment in most of these comments about Kike. He was promise the 2nd base job, yet he as not given the chance to get comfortable in his position. He was replaced in just a very few games. He certainly didn’t get the opportunity to get out of his htting slump like Muncy or Belli did. I think he kept the clubhouse and dugout loose and fun for years. As for the stache- really??? You are looking for excuses! I don’t want JT or Kike traded. Joc’s haphazard attitude should be questioned rather than Kike’s enthusiasm. Keep the good guys!

  17. SAVE Turner he’s the heart and soul of the Dodgers!!!! We don’t need to spend big bucks for Trevor Bauer, We need to play Lux more.

  18. yea hos ave is 230 because he only gets to play 3inning every other game..Hes a everyfay p l…m ayer and alwaus has big key hits and rbi’s.I hope he does go and get payed with a monster year..huge kike fan

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