Kiké Hernandez considered signing with Yankees this offseason

The Yankees have a couple of bench spots to figure out heading into the 2024 season, but Kiké Hernandez was almost an option.

Appearing on Thursday’s episode of Foul Territory, Hernandez -- who signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Dodgers this week -- explained how he eventually ended up back in Los Angeles after a lengthy free agency.

The 32-year-old said that a number of teams, including the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, and San Francisco Giants, checked in on him to see if he would sign with them on the cheap.

Hernandez held out for a decent payday and said it came down to the Dodgers and Yankees.

“I chose the Dodgers because they have a lot of left-handed hitters, and I have a lot of familiarity,” Hernandez explained. “Main reason is they were able to guarantee me to start, at least, against left-handed pitchers at least to start the year. The Yankees have a really good lineup, like the Dodgers, but they have a lot of right-handed hitters and their lefties are not platoon guys.”

Hernandez isn’t wrong. The Yankees’ outfield consists of Aaron Judge, Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo with Trent Grisham -- a lefty -- as the main backup outfielder.

Even infield -- where Hernandez has played more than 1,500 games, primarily at second base -- isn't open with DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Anthony Rizzo and Anthony Volpe positioned around the diamond.

The Yankees simply could not guarantee a decent chunk of playing time to Hernandez as presently constituted. 

“I knew the Dodger thing was certainly in play," manager Aaron Boone told the media before Thursday's game. "That was dependent on a move happening that opened up a [roster] spot. But I do know he was certainly intrigued about coming here.”

In 2023, Hernandez batted .237 with 11 home runs and drove in 61 runs between the Boston Red Sox and Dodgers. Over his 10-year career, Hernandez is slashing .239/.311/.409 while amassing 108 home runs and driving in 393 runs.