Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty today announced the signing of free agent C Ramon Hernandez to a 1-year contract through the 2011 season.
“We wanted to provide our young pitching staff with some continuity. We felt all of our pitchers were comfortable pitching to Ramon,” Jocketty said. “We also like his production at the plate. Our catchers were very solid last year offensively.”
Last season, Reds catchers led the National League with 168 hits and a .296 batting average while ranking second with 91 RBI and third with an on-base percentage of .375.
Hernandez, 34, was acquired by the Reds from the Baltimore Orioles, along with cash, during the 2008 Winter Meetings in Las Vegas in exchange for IF/OF Ryan Freel, IF Justin Turner and IF Brandon Waring. In the last 2 seasons he hit .278 in 178 appearances, including .297 in 97 games last year.
In 2010, Hernandez led the Reds with 85 starts behind the plate but also made 2 starts at first base. He hit .311 in his last 40 appearances of the season and for most of the year led all National League catchers in fielding percentage.
We all expected the Reds to re-sign Ramon, and I don’t have any problem with it. My fondest wish, however, is that Devin Mesoraco makes Hernandez expendable sometime in 2011.