The Reds re-signed Ramon Hernandez on a one-year, $3 mil. deal. I'm surprised by this, not on the Reds end, but on Ramon's end. I would have expected him to wait for a multi-year deal rather than sign so quickly with the Reds. Catchers seem to be in demand this off-season.
But as a fan I'm thrilled. The Reds catchers led the league in hitting last year at .296. Hernandez hit .311 after the all-star break. Although they both bat right-handed, they formed a language platoon, with Hanigan generally catching the English-speaking starters and Hernandez catching the Spanish-speaking starters.
With Mesoraco coming off a great year and the Reds using their top pick on a catcher in June, Hernandez is not the future for the Reds. But this is a great signing for 2011. And don't forget Hernandez filled in very well for Votto when Votto was hurt in 2009. The Reds don't have a great back-up option at first, and now they don't need one.
Hanigan will be the starter with Hernandez as the back-up, but I expect them to split the time pretty evenly. I'll pick Hanigan for Opening Day, mostly because I expect Arroyo to be the starting pitcher. The fact Hernandez came back so quickly tells me the Reds had a fun clubhouse last year. Hernandez wants to be part of that again. So do I.