Blue Jays’ Hernandez expected to hit free agency

Right-hander Roberto Hernandez delivers a pitch (Gene J. Puskar/AP).

Roberto Hernandez is expected to hit free agency Monday after being informed that he won’t be making the Toronto Blue Jays’ opening day roster, an industry source told Sportsnet.

Hernandez signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays in December that included a March 28 out clause. The Blue Jays had until Monday to add the 35-year-old right-hander to the roster or see him hit free agency. With a full starting rotation in place along with long relievers Gavin Floyd and Jesse Chavez, the Blue Jays didn’t need Hernandez despite a strong spring.

Once Hernandez officially hits free agency, he’s expected to explore MLB opportunities with other clubs. He posted a 4.36 ERA in 84.2 innings for the Houston Astros last year, pitching out of the bullpen and the rotation.

The 10-year MLB veteran appeared in six games for the Blue Jays this spring, pitching 10 innings while featuring a fastball in the 90-92 mph range. He allowed 10 hits and two walks while striking out seven and posting a 3.60 ERA.

Hernandez’s deal with the Blue Jays would have paid him a base salary of $1.25 million at the MLB level with $750,000 in additional bonuses.

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