Free agent catcher Ramon Hernandez and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $27.5 million, four-year contract. Hernandez's deal is contingent on a physical, a baseball official familiar with the negotiations said Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity. The agreement, which includes a club option for 2010, probably will not be finalized until next week, the official said. The 29-year-old Hernandez batted .290 last season with the San Diego Padres. He had 12 home runs and 58 RBIs, but his main value is behind the plate, where he has a reputation for calling a smart game and capably handling a pitching staff. The addition of Hernandez will mean less time behind the plate for Orioles catcher Javy Lopez, who complained of sore knees toward the end of last season. Lopez is eager to spend more time as a designated hitter and at first base.
Herandez Signs With Baltimore