Red Sox

Hernandez explains why Cora was a big reason he joined Red Sox

Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox' trade of Mookie Betts and David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers last February may have helped them land Kike Hernandez a year later.

Hernandez officially signed a two-year contract with Boston on Tuesday after six seasons with the Dodgers. His last season was spent with three former Red Sox in Betts, Price and reliever Joe Kelly. So, when Hernandez became a free agent this offseason, he consulted with the trio about what it was like playing for manager Alex Cora, who is running the show in Boston again after serving a year-long suspension.

According to Hernandez, Betts, Price and Kelly offered strong reviews. Add in that Cora was Hernandez's manager for Team Puerto Rico during the 2017 World Baseball Classic, and the 29-year-old was sold on playing for Cora in Boston.

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“It made my decision a lot easier to come in and have the opportunity to play for Alex,” Hernandez said Tuesday during his introductory press conference.

"I’ve talked to Joe, Mookie and (David), and they all preach about Alex and what he brings to the table as a manager and how good of a communicator he is. I’m just really, really excited to be able to play for a Puerto Rican manager."

Hernandez and Cora actually go way back to the former's childhood, when Hernandez's father, Enrique Sr., coached a winter ball team in Cora's hometown of Caguas, Puerto Rico.

 

"I was able to be around him as much as I could and I was obviously in awe of being around big-leaguers and getting to take grounders and shag out there with him," Hernandez said of Cora.

Hernandez should serve as a super utility man for the Red Sox, providing depth at second base, first base and the corner outfield positions. Boston likely won't be competing for a championship in 2021, but as the team continues its rebuild, having a manager in Cora who is well-respected by players across the league is a benefit as Chaim Bloom looks to improve the roster.