Pirates Sign Gorkys Hernandez and Deibinson Romero

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and third baseman Deibinson Romero to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training.

Romero is 28 years old and spent the 2014 season in the Twins organization, where he hit .265/.364/.406 in 123 games for AAA Rochester. He has spent nine seasons in the Twins system and hasn’t made the Majors yet. He plays almost exclusively at third base, seeing some time occasionally at first base. In 2012, he hit 19 homers at AA New Britain.

Hernandez is familiar to most Pirates fans. He came over to the Pirates in the Nate McLouth deal with the Atlanta Braves. The Pirates dealt him to the Marlins during the 2012 season and he has spent the past two years in the minors. The 27-year-old split the 2014 season between the Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals and a stint in the Mexican League. He batted a combined .280/.350/.348 in 75 games.

The Pirates also announced the Sebastian Valle deal, which was reported here last week.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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It’s hilarious how serious people take minor league signings. Ok that’s it, we signed Gorkys, off-season complete.

Please remind me of all the big Yankees/Angels/Dodgers/Phillies signings. How dare the Pirates sign Gorkys while they’re out there signing, um, oh wait, nobody. It’s still so early. There have been 4 big time signings (Hanley, Sandoval, Martin, Cruz) and 5 quality signings (Laroche, Butler, Tomas, Cuddyer, AJ). So 8 teams have signed a significant player and the Pirates are one.

Once Lester and Scherzer sign, the Pirates pitching will fall into place. Patience.


Tomorrow is the non-tender deadline. There are some interesting candidates according to MLBTR. Yonder Alonso – 1B – maybe he could have a nice year if freed from Petco. Jhoulys Chacin – ditto from Coors. Travis Wood – seems like an odd guy to non-tender, AND he’s a lefty. He posted a career high in K/9 last year too, but a 5+ ERA due to a .320 BABIP. Only negative I see is that he only had a 34% GB rate, which is probably a deal-breaker for the FO.


Chacin is interesting, but like Jon Niese, looks like someone who will spend much of 2015 on the DL. I can’t think of too many pitchers who recovered from shoulder injuries simply with rest.


fwiw, Fangraphs has Romero projected as the #1 minor league free agent. Although all that means is he’s roughly league average, projecting a 94 WRC+ and 1.9 WAR for 500 PAs.


But hey, that’s better than Brent Morel or Michael Martinez.

R Edwards

Mariners sign Nelson Cruz, we sign Gorkys Hernandez and Deibinson Romero…..sigh….


I actually like Romero.. What the hell , take a flier …. Same scenario that brought us G.I, Jones about the same age, from the same team… One of these fliers may materialize into a contributor.. No risk. If NH signs Cruz , and the HGH wears off , He’s dead, out of a job. Just like that. I would cringe if they signed Cruz.


Where would Cruz even play? The Pirate outfield is pretty set.

Randy Ritchey

Duhhhh, its not the point we didn’t get Cruz, the point is we got these two. Thankfully we probably never see either at the major league level, problem is if we do, something has gone very wrong.

R Edwards

I wasn’t complaining about us not signing Cruz specifically, but the stark contrast in our typical free agent signings and another team’s free agent signings.

But now that you mention it, I think any team would do whatever they had to do to get Cruz’s bat in the lineup. If he did sign with the Pirates, I would put him at first and would then see what I could get for Pedro in a trade – which would not likely be much. He could also get some at bats in LF and RF. He’s not a Gold Glover, but he’s not horrible in the outfield.


Well, not to nitpick or anything, but you probably shoulda wrote: “The Mariners sign Nelson Cruz, the Pirates sign guys like Gorkys Hernandez… .” Or words to that effect.

He’s never played 1B as a professional according to Baseball-Reference. We may well need a 1B, but there’s no reason to panic and put someone there who has never played it before– assuming he’d even sign if you told him up front that was the plan. He’s a great bat to have, but he’d probably just end up blocking Polanco’s development. I have trouble seeing that as a good idea.

Lukas Sutton

Yeah, we never sign decent FA’s like Cruz. I mean, we havent signed a decent middle of the rotation arm when most SP arent signing anywhere yet. So frustrating how Pit just wont sign FA like other teams…

R Edwards

#1 – How old are you Lukas? Given the general tone of your posts, I assume you cannot be much more than 13-14 years old….
#2 – If you want to equate a 38-39 year old Burnett signing with the Pirates (after limiting negotiations to only with the Pirates) with a team signing a much desired power bat like Cruz’s, you go ahead and do that.

Lukas Sutton

Your post is repetitive so i used sarcasm. Apparently that means i am 13 since the tone was mocking the vastly overused “we sign nobody while other people actually upgrade their team. Yeah, i do equate a middle level SP to Cruz. AJ Burnett is old and not a TOR arm, but this team getting a quality innings man that will greatly benefit from the park and defense is something. You ignored it and acted like PIT hasnt done near what other teams have.

R Edwards

Feel free to show when and where I posted a similar “we sign nobody while other people actually upgrade their team” statement – but you won’t be able to, because I was not being repetitive. As for signing Burnett – or accepting his offer to sign with us – no, that doesn’t bowl me over with enthusiasm.

Lukas Sutton

If you post a comment like yours, and dont expect some people to interpret it as “This FO doesnt make impact moves like others teams”, im sorry for you. That comment made me immediately assume you were dreading the fact that we dont sign Cruz like FA, even though we have signed middle tier FA like Cruz at times. Yes, you didnt actually write those words. But if i read it and think that, the message is unclear enough that some may take it as another “The FO doesnt do what it needs to” post.


How many starting pitchers have signed anywhere? Who have we missed out on?


As much as I would love to see the Pirates be a player for major free agents, I live in the real world and realize, they will never be in on guys like Scherzer and Lester. That’s just the way it is. I would really like to see going after Shields and not sign anybody else, but his price is probably in a higher bracket as well.

Randy Ritchey

Indy good to see you here since our other site is so messed up. I (rrit55) would be perfectly happy with us getting Liriano and Volquez back to buy time till the young guns are ready and healthy.

R Edwards

Actually, I think it would be a huge mistake for any team – other than a select few exceptions – to invest $100-150 million in a pitcher. Too much risk and it would take years to dig out of that hole if it went badly.

But. it would be nice for the Pirates be players in the next tier or two free agents – especially now when they may only be a piece or two from being a serious WS contender. When you look at this contract and at today’s salaries, I think the Mariners got a good value in Cruz.


I often think about Neil Huntington having a masters in psychology plays into his strategies and ultimately his success . It seems he has a sort of formula for recognizing what a ‘winner’ looks like. When he took over we had guys like Nady , Bay, McLouth… Good numbers… But the bat was like a hot potato when the game was on the line. NH has filled this organization with guys who want to be up there when the game is on the line. Winners.

R Edwards

You may be right and I hope you are right, but the trade for Ike Davis and his extending Morton seem to contradict that theory. I would not categorize either as “winners”, instead I would tag them both as the opposite.

Finally, his failure to get Martin extended after the 2013 season, which is when it needed to be done.


Martin wanted to go get his FA money. He wasn’t signing anything before he was on the open market. Saying the Pirates missed the extension, is like saying that I missed out on dating Kate Upton.

R Edwards

Is this just your opinion and assessment of the situation, or is this factual?


I have the camp of Gaby apologists plotting to kill me today

Randy Ritchey

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But don’t be surprised if he resurfaces again much like Gorkys, who he was traded for.


You’re right. I surrendered to the Fighting Gabys cus I am certain the Bucs will attempt to bring him back.

Randy Ritchey

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

Lukas Sutton

I dont even think you know what you meant by that.

Randy Ritchey

Let me explain then, it has to do with Gorkys Hernandez coming back, “again”. We went that direction once before (shame on you) now we revisit something that didn’t work the first time (shame on me). Now do you get it? Visiting mistakes for a second time is the problem of the GM doing it.

Lukas Sutton

That only makes sense if you actually think Gorkys is a serious candidate for starting in LF or being a bench player in PIT. If you think that, you dislike the FO enough to ignore the 3-4 guys that are ahead of this player for the bench role. Shame on the GM for acquiring a AAA player to play in AAA?




Hmmm ? ?


Btw John, thanks for the bone to gnaw on with Dario Agrazal Jr…. A wise tactical share on your part… I could have driven ya nuts all night. I am very grateful for the knowledge and awareness you so willingly share. One answer has so many new details that I had never considered , that it leaves me with 3 more questions. So again , really , thanks. I feel like I am sitting 8 rows deep behind home plate in some Bull Durham type ballpark , picking the brain of a grizzled old scout.


Amazing what passing the eye test does for a report… Never heard a bad thing about Shane Carle.. Have you been able to get your eyeballs on Scahill yet ? How do you feel about that deal?


Full circle today. Even w the strong possibility Gaby is back…. Just more so a win on the trade to acquire him… Since we may end up with both pieces.

– As for Romero… I realize it is “pie in the sky” but smacks of G.I. Jones. Twins career minor leaguer , satisfactory numbers , just never got the opportunity.. Maybe even blocked a bit as G.I. was back then as well.



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