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Bucs Sign Roberto Hernandez

No word on money yet, but I'm prepared to be upset when I learn he cost more than $1 million.  Hernandez actually had a good season last year - with a low ERA and peripheral stats that suggest he almost earned it - but he's 41 and until last year, he hadn't put up an ERA below 4.00 since 2000. Also, he's had a pretty nasty case of homeritis at times. Forget about 2005 for a second and look at his numbers for 2003 and 2004.

  1. 60 IP 45 K 43 BB 10 HR 4.35 ERA
  2. 56.7 IP 44 K 29 BB 9 HR 4.76 ERA
That's just ugly - his ERA in '03 could've looked a lot worse given his terrible peripherals, and in 2004 he improved the peripherals slightly and got an ERA that just about matched them.

He was indeed much better in 2005, but he's 41, so it's highly unlikely this represents a new level of performance. The odds are very, very good that his 2005 performance is just an outlier. I'd say the odds are at least 2:1 that Hernandez finishes with an ERA above 5.00, being released in August, and prompting all kinds of quotes from Dave Littlefield about how disappointing he was. If the Pirates paid much above the league minimum for Hernandez, this is an awful signing.

(ZIPS predicts that Hernandez will have an ERA of 4.36, which is fine for a bullpen arm... for the league minimum.)