O's get Darwinzon Hernandez in trade with Red Sox

January 11th, 2023

The Orioles have added another left-handed arm to their bullpen competition for Spring Training. They acquired Darwinzon Hernandez on Wednesday in a trade with the Red Sox, who will receive cash considerations.

Hernandez, who spent his first four big league seasons in Boston, will be looking to have a bounceback season in 2023. The 26-year-old posted a 21.60 ERA in seven appearances for the Red Sox last year, while also recording a 5.73 ERA in 23 games (seven starts) at Triple-A Worcester.

However, Hernandez has had previous success in the Majors. His best showing came in 2021, when he posted a 3.38 ERA in 48 appearances.

A native of Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, Hernandez was signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent in 2013. He pitched in their Minor League system from 2014-18, before getting called up to the big leagues for the first time in April 2019.

Hernandez isn’t a lock to make Baltimore’s Opening Day roster this year. But he gives the club additional left-handed depth in its relief corps. That was important following last week’s news that southpaw Nick Vespi underwent hernia surgery, though the Orioles anticipate him being ready for the early part of the 2023 season.

The only left-handed reliever who is a lock to make the O’s out of camp is setup man Cionel Pérez. There’s a decent chance that Keegan Akin will also be part of the bullpen. DL Hall, Baltimore’s No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline, and Bruce Zimmermann are also candidates to pitch in relief if neither lands a rotation spot.

Hernandez is the second relief pitcher who the Orioles have added this offseason. They also signed right-hander Mychal Givens to a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2024.

In order to make room for Hernandez on the 40-man roster, Baltimore designated first baseman Lewin Díaz for assignment. Since Nov. 15, the 26-year-old Díaz has been DFA’d five times, including twice by the Orioles.