Kiké Hernández sets the record straight about Twins potentially signing him

It turns out the Twins weren't actually much of a finalist to sign Kiké Hernández.

Boston Red Sox v Minnesota Twins
Boston Red Sox v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages
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It was a busy 72 hours for the Minnesota Twins and Kiké Hernández over the weekend.

The two sides were rumored to be circling each other as the veteran utilityman attempted to find work with Spring Training getting underway. The Athletic ran a piece on Saturday that stated Minnesota was a finalist to sign him, which echoed other reports that have floated around about the Twins potentially being interested.

Nothing ended up happening, although the Twins were partially responsible for Hernández returning to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

While Minnesota didn't sign him, it did trade for Manuel Margot which opened up a roster spot for the Dodgers to use on Hernández. After the deal became official, Hernández explained what happened over those busy 72 hours which helped illuminate how much the Twins weren't actually a finalist to sign him.

Twins weren't really much of a finalist to sign Kiké Hernández

It's very possible that the Twins were indeed on a list near the end but Hernández didn't mention them when talking about how things went in the 11th hour leading up to his return to Los Angeles.

"At the end the Tigers were very interested, the Angels were there but never really made an offer. The Giants were kind of in there but also were waiting until the end to make an offer, and ended up not making an offer," Hernández said. "It came down to Dogers or Yankees."

Notice how the Twins weren't mentioned anywhere there, despite having been listed as a finalist over the weekend. One team that wasn't in that intial list was the Detroit Tigers, who Hernández indicated showed a lot of interest but ultimately signed Gio Urshela for much cheaper.

Being lowballed is sort of a theme that Hernández kept returning to, and in doing so might have tangentially mentioned Minnesota's interest.

"A lot of teams checked in just to see," Hernández said. "They were like 'hey, time keeps going by and guys are starting to sign for really cheap and we're wondering you want to sign for that cheap too', and I held my ground."

That last part sounds like textbook Twins, and Hernández's refusal to lower his asking cost is likely when the team exited the conversation.

Again, it's very possible that the Twins were in on him up to a certain point, but that cut-off line seems to be when Hernández wouldn't take less on his deal. It's also worth noting that Minnesota spent the exact same amount of money Hernández got from the Dodgers to acquire Margot, which indicates that this might have been more about roster fit than money.

With the Twins, though, you can never be too sure.

Margot does fit a bit better than Hernández would have, as he'll primarily platoon with Byron Buxton while potentially playing all three outfield spots as depth. Hernández could have done the same but there's more of a 1-to-1 comparison to Kyle Farmer that might ave created a redundancy.

Either way, the Twins ended up without Hernández despite being listed as a finalist but helped play a role in his return to the Dodgers. Perhaps that was the extent of them being a finalist in the situation, but in the end it seems to have worked out well for all involved.

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