The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a one-year contract with infielder César Hernández on Tuesday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Hernández, 31, hit a career-high 21 home runs in 149 games between Cleveland and Chicago (AL) in 2021. He ranked among American League switch hitters in home runs (5th, 21), extra-base hits (6th, 44) and slugging percentage (7th, .386). In his ninth Major League season, he hit .232 with 21 doubles, two triples, 21 home runs, 62 RBI, 59 walks and 84 runs scored. Hernández made 142 starts at second base, seven as a designated hitter and appeared in one game at shortstop.
Hernández opened the 2021 season with Cleveland before being acquired by Chicago on July 29. He hit five leadoff home runs between the two clubs, tied for seventh-most in Major League Baseball in 2021. His 18 career leadoff home runs are tied for ninth among active Major League players.
An American League Gold Glove winner in 2020, Hernández led American League second baseman in FanGraphs.com defensive rating (4.7) and ranked second among American League second basemen in defensive runs saved (6). He led the American League and ranked third in Major League Baseball with 20 doubles during the 2020 season.
Hernández began his Major League career with the Philadelphia Phillies, hitting .277/.352/.381 in 832 games across seven Major League seasons (2013-19). He played in 161 games in both 2018 and 2019 and led the National League with 11 triples in 2016. A native of Valencia, Venezuela, Hernández signed with the Phillies as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2006.
The Nationals now have 38 players on their 40-man roster.