This move shouldn’t surprise any fans close to the team, but the release of the news to the public could have been handled better by the league and both of the teams involved. Former Revs designated hitter Jose Herrera, 38, signed with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs last week, creating an awkward end to his stay in York.
Before he signed, neither York or Southern Maryland officially announced a trade had been finalized that sent Herrera’s rights to Southern Maryland. Moreover, York has not released the name of the player they acquired in the deal. The reason for the secrecy is simple, York is still in contract negotiations with the former Southern Maryland player.
So York lost one of its best hitters in a trade, but fans will have to wait to find out what the Revs received in the deal. See the problem in releasing the news of Herrera’s signing? Nobody really knows what went down, and we may not know for weeks or months.
At least we know why the Revs traded Herrera.
Revs Director of Baseball Operations Michael Kirk noted Herrera had an outstanding year and was loved by his teammates, but the Revs wanted more versatility on the roster. They want a designated hitter who can also play a position, providing York with some options and platoon possibilities.
Herrera batted .337 in 115 games last season, but he battled various pulled muscles in his upper leg most of the season.
But the trade was also made as a matter of building a team with a smart approach to payroll budget. The Revs knew Herrera struggled to keep his leg healthy and stay in the lineup.
“It was very difficult letting him go,” York manager Andy Etchebarren said. “Considering his age and leg problems, I think we got him on the field as much as anybody could — and he was our highest-paid player. I’ve got so many guys coming back from last year, and a lot of those guys deserve raises. I’ve got to find the money somewhere.”
But Etchebarren explained that he didn’t just give away Herrera — one of the top hitters in the league last year. Knowing that Lancaster manager Butch Hobson will attempt to assemble a championship caliber club in his first season with the Barnstormers, Etchebarren believes he needs to improve his team if his club will challenge for a Freedom Division title. He believes the Revs acquired a player from Southern Maryland who could improve York’s lineup.
“That deal for Herrera could end up being a good deal for us, too,” Etchebarren said. “If everything falls in place, we may have a better team than we did last year.”