2023 Dodgers Trade Deadline Targets: OF Teoscar Hernandez, Mariners

If I was Jonny Deluca, I’d have considered a noted supervillain’s words when I returned to the Dodgers’ clubhouse on Wednesday morning.

“You could not live with your own failure. Where did that bring you? Back to me.” – Thanos

Deluca was given a grand total of 36 plate appearances during his initial one-month stay on the major league roster, in which he hit .250/.333/.417/.750/108 wRC+ in 27 PAs after compiling a .409/.500/.864/1.364 line in 26 PAs Double-A and .320/.346/.520/.866 in 26 PAs Triple-A against left-handed pitchers. That’s in addition to an OPS of .947 and 1.027 in his two levels in 2022, 1.201 and .903 in two levels during 2021 and 1.037 in his lone level all the way back in 2019.

And even with all that evidence, the team elected to send him back down to Triple-A for Jake Marisnick, who two teams have given up on in 2023 and a total of six had elected to let go since his lone good season, which I have already complained about here. Naturally, Marisnick lasted six plate appearances off the bench in four games before landing on the IL with a hamstring injury.

As long as I am writing these, this will probably be a point of emphasis for me. I covered it in the Brent Rooker post, but protecting against regression from David Peralta or Jason Heyward while finding a piece to start in a playoff lineup against left-handed starters such as Max Fried, Jesus Luzardo, Braxton Garrett and any potential left-handed acquisitions from the top teams in the National League (Jordan Montgomery) feels important.

So for the next attempt to fill that role, here’s a look at Teoscar Hernandez.


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Hernandez was sent to Seattle from Toronto back in mid-November as the Blue Jays needed to thin out a right-handed dominant lineup and the Mariners needed to add some power to their lineup as they looked for their first back-to-back postseason appearances since 2000 and 2001. A $14-million salary in his final year of arbitration also prompted the Blue Jays to move on from Hernandez. The move cost the Mariners Adam Macko, who ranked No. 9 and No. 11 by Baseball America and MLB.com, respectively, ahead of the 2022 season, and landed at No. 10 and No. 9 by the two outlets once moving to the Blue Jays, as well as reliever Erik Swanson.

Overall, the result probably hasn’t been as impactful as Seattle hoped, as Hernandez has slashed .240/.294/.419/.713 with a 99 wRC+ for the Mariners after finishing 2021 with a .870 OPS and a 132 wRC+ and 2022 with a .807 OPS and a 129 wRC+. That regression has come with a K% rising from 24.9% to 28.4% to 31.6% and a line drive rate dropping from 25.5% to 21.6% to 20.7%. However, Hernandez’s production against left-handed pitching has remained above averaged compared to righties.

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Hernandez is only walking 2.3% against lefties while striking out 34.5%, but that’s drastically off his career average of 7.8% in 778 career plate appearances. A .175/.254/.263/.517 slump in his 63 PAs in July has hindered Hernandez’s numbers this season, especially after a June in which he slashed .303/.376/.573/.949 in 101 PAs during June.

Hernandez has also been much better away from T-Mobile Park, with a .770 OPS and a 111 wRC+ on the road compared to .658 and 87 wRC+ at home. Taking a look at the 2023 Park Factors on Baseball Savant and you see Seattle at No. 30 of 32 (once you include London and Mexico City) overall and No. 29 for OBP, with the rolling three-year numbers backing that up as well as T-Mobile Park ranks 31st of 31 for Park Factor and 31st for OBP.

As for how he would fit into the Dodgers’ lineup, Hernandez has spent 721 innings in right field and 14 games at designated hitter in 2023. The Blue Jays had him spend 33 1/3 innings in left compared to 966 2/3 in right last season, as well as 881 innings in right and 250 innings in left during the 2021 season. Where the team intends to play Mookie Betts when facing left-handed pitching while Miguel Vargas is in Triple-A remains a question given the Dodgers managing to face six right-handed starters in the second half. However, all 54 innings Betts has played since the All-Star Break have been at second base.

That’s left right field to be manned by Peralta or James Outman once Heyward has been pulled for a pinch hitter.



Hernandez is a free agent at the end of the season and is due around a little under $6 million for the final 40% of the regular season. The Mariners are still 48-48, which leaves them 9.5 games out of first in the American League West, but just 5 games back of the third Wild Card. That does include four teams (the Angels, Yankees, Red Sox and Astros) ahead of them, but still close enough to consider not selling. With games against the Blue Jays (54-43), Twins (50-48) and D-backs (54-43) coming up before the deadline, that may send them further down the standings as the Guardians are currently just a game back.


To SEA: Carlos Duran

To LA: Hernandez

Obviously Seattle can’t expect to get a Top 10 prospect back in the deal after holding Hernandez for more than half of the 2023 season, but the recency of the trade does offer an ideal of the value. Duran, who is out for 2023 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, ranked No. 27 on this site, No. 18 on MLB.com and No. 28 by Baseball America entering the 2023 season. Just about to turn 22 years old, the 6-foot-7 Duran struck out 32.2% of batters during his time in High-A last season.

If it wasn’t for the surgery and some time missed in 2021, Duran may rank a tad higher in the organization but ultimately does offer a bit of a risk. I could imagine another lower-level piece could be added here, but the Mariners would get a pitching prospect back after Hernandez cost them one. Given the down season, the salary remaining and it being a rental, I’d be surprised if Seattle can pull anything near a Top 15 prospect from anyone.


Unless Vargas is going to return to the majors and retake his role at second base with Betts moving back to right field, the Dodgers absolutely need another right-handed bat on the roster. Marisnick’s opportunity to prove he could be that piece isn’t entirely gone, as the bench still includes Yonny Hernandez in addition to Deluca. The Dodgers could elect to shift Chris Taylor to more of an infield role if they acquire another outfielder and want to keep Marisnick in the majors past the trade deadline.

Either way, a bench of Austin Barnes, Hernandez and Marisnick isn’t going to cut it for the playoffs, while Deluca hasn’t been given much of an opportunity (and the Dodgers demoted him for literally Marisnick already), Michael Busch could be sent out in a deadline deal and appears limited to third base or DH, and Vargas’ struggles are well-documented. It doesn’t appear the bench options are within the organization as it stands, so Hernandez is a possible fit.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree.