Hernandez is the leading candidate to open the year as the Red Sox's starting second baseman, with Dustin Pedroia (knee) expected to miss at least the first month of the season, Chad Jennings of the Boston Herald reports.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski did not rule out bringing someone from outside the organization in, but with Hernandez, Brock Holt, Tzu-Wei Lin and Deven Marrero all in house, it seems they should be able to plug the hole internally. A shoulder injury cost Hernandez most of the 2017 season, but he has a career .284 average in 116 plate appearances and profiles as a quality defender at second base. Realistically, if the Red Sox go with Hernandez, he will still make way for their other internal options on occasion, and doesn't project to make enough impact with the bat over a short stretch to be useful in most formats.

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