The Winter Meetings have come and gone. Ruben Amaro, Jr. made a free agent deal at the annual baseball pre-Christmas party. This transaction thrilled no one, but does add depth to the starting rotation.
Roberto Hernandez, who played under the assumed name 'Faustino Carmona' from 2006-2011, was signed to a modest one-year, $4.5 million contract. He basically assumes left-hander John Lannan's slot.
The permanent subtraction of Roy Halladay took place earlier in the week when 'Doc' announced his retirement. That meant that Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick (which assumes the Phillies retain their tendered middle-of the rotation starter) and Miguel Gonzalez round out Bob McClure's troops.
Alternative options, including Jonathan Pettibone and other minor league prospects, could make the team out of spring training. However, it was obvious that Amaro needed to bolster the rotation during the off-season.
Hernandez' signing falls into the 'low-risk, reward' (likely not high-reward) category. The 33-year-old, eight-season veteran has started 177 games (and has relieved in 39 games) during his career. He has a 1.416 WHIP mark.
Kendrick's career WHIP mark is 1.369. Lannan's career WHIP mark is 1.432.
Unless he recaptures a few seasons (2007, 2010) of past glory, it's likely that the Phillies' newest starter will make fans think about Kendrick and Lannan whenever he takes the mound in 2014. Opposing batters are likely to agree with that popular assessment.