|The Reds bid farewell to Hernandez, who|
spent the last 3 seasons with the club
As expected, free agent and former Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez has signed a deal with a team outside Cincinnati, pending a physical. The team? The Colorado Rockies -- who dealt away their current backstop (Chris Iannetta) earlier today to the Los Angeles Angels to make room on their roster.
Hernandez's contract is reportedly worth two-years and $6.5 million, which is a slight increase to the 1yr/$3M he earned with the Reds last season.
Acquired back in December of 2008 from the Baltimore Orioles, the 35-year old posted a .280 average, 24 HR, and 121 RBIs in three seasons with the team. He never appeared in any more than 97 games in a single season during that span, but did however, come up with some clutch hits during his stay in the Queen City.
The departure of Hernandez, coupled with the acquisition of Iannetta by the Angels, undoubtedly means that Ryan Hanigan will not be moved this offseason. Hanigan had been rumored as a possible candidate to fill the Angels catching role, but that speculation is all but dead now.
As result of losing Hernandez to another team, Cincinnati will receive a compensatory pick in next year's Amateur Draft.
The implications of this signing also means that the team is comfortable splitting the backstop duties between Hanigan and top prospect Devin Mesoraco in 2012. A decision that should go over fairly well among Reds fans.