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Reports: Cleveland, 2B Hernández agree to deal

CLEVELAND — Free-agent second baseman César Hernández has agreed to return to the Cleveland Indians on a 1-year contract, according to multiple reports.

The team and Hernández have an agreement — which includes a club option for 2022 — in place that will become official once medical tests have been completed, according to reports.

Hernandez impressed in his first season with Cleveland, putting up solid offensive numbers while becoming the team’s first second baseman to win a Gold Glove Award since Roberto Alomar in 2001.

The 30-year-old switch-hitter had a .283 batting average with three home runs, 35 runs scored and 20 RBIs in 58 games during the pandemic-shortened season. Defensively, Hernandez had a .981 fielding percentage — with only four errors in 210 total chances — and led all second basemen with 4.7 defensive runs above average, according to FanGraphs.

“He was arguably among the most consistent players we had all season,” team president Chris Antonetti said after the season. “Offensively, defensively, on the bases, he’s a really good baseball player, and he fit really well into the fabric of our team and the culture in the clubhouse.”

Hernández joined Cleveland on a one-year, $6.25 million deal last offseason. Before that, he had spent his entire career with the Philadelphia Phillies. In eight major league seasons, Hernandez is a career .277 hitter with 49 home runs, 273 RBIs and 80 stolen bases.

His return softens the impact of Cleveland losing All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor, who was traded to the New York Mets earlier this month.

The Indians acquired young middle infielders Andres Giménez and Amed Rosario in the Lindor deal, and it was expected one of them would play second before Hernández was brought back.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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