Felix Hernandez, a six-time All-Star and the winner of the 2010 American League Cy Young Award, has agreed with the Baltimore Orioles on a minor-league contract for the 2021 season, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman. Hernandez will reportedly make $1 million.
Hernandez, 35 come early April, has not pitched in the majors since 2019. Though he signed with the Atlanta Braves last offseason and pitched in spring training, he opted out before the 60-game season began in July. Hernandez has struggled to find traction in recent years: since 2017, he's posted a 5.42 ERA (77 ERA+) and a 2.36 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 314 innings pitched.
For Hernandez's career, he's amassed a 117 ERA+ and 50.3 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball-Reference's calculations. All 419 of his big-league regular-season appearances have occurred with the Seattle Mariners. It's worth noting that Hernandez has never appeared in the postseason.
Hernandez is a two-time ERA champion and he's received Cy Young Award consideration in six seasons, most recently in 2015. He'll enter the season with 169 career victories, though any chances of him reaching 200, let alone 300, have fell by the wayside.
The Orioles are projected to again be one of the worst teams in baseball. Baltimore traded Alex Cobb earlier this week, leaving the O's without many locks for their rotation outside of, perhaps, John Means and Jorge Lopez (who is out of options). Other contenders for the Orioles rotation include Keegan Akin, Dean Kremer, and Bruce Zimmermann. The Orioles also recently signed left-hander Wade LeBlanc to a minor-league deal, suggesting he has a chance at breaking camp with the club.