O’s news: Felix Hernandez brings strong leadership, experience to Baltimore Orioles

Felix Hernandez signed a deal with the Baltimore Orioles. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Felix Hernandez signed a deal with the Baltimore Orioles. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Baltimore Orioles sign Felix Hernandez to a minor league contract

Big O’s news on Wednesday: The Baltimore Orioles signed Felix Hernandez to a one-year minor league deal.

Hernandez, who most people call him “King Felix”, can help the Orioles become a better team in lots of ways. He is a determined pitcher who was successful during his time with the Seattle Mariners for 15 seasons.

Lasting 15 seasons with one team is impressive and Hernandez has a lot of experience that he brings to the O’s locker room that the young pitchers can learn from and grow to become better players.

Hernandez can become a leader in the locker room. He won an AL Cy Young Award, two ERA titles, and made six All-Star teams during his tenure with the Mariners. His biggest achievement was throwing a perfect game on Aug. 15, 2012.

Hernandez can become what Ubaldo Jimenez was to the Orioles, a leader with experience. Unfortunately, Jimenez struggled with the club, but he was a positive influence in the locker room.

Some O’s fans cannot get the image of Jimenez pitching to Edwin Encarnacion in the 2016 Wild Card game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Hearing Ernie Johnson call that HR was hard to watch as that was the turning point for Orioles baseball.

Hernandez did not play in 2020. He played in Spring Training, but he decided to opt out of the shortened season. Hernandez’s last season was 2019 where he went 1-8 with a 6.40 ERA.

According to ESPN, Hernandez hasn’t finished with an ERA under 4.00 since 2016 and he last made an appearance at the All-Star game since 2015. He can make a name for himself in the O’s rotation if he makes the Opening Day roster. He has a 3.42 career ERA and has won 169 games during his career.