Ken Rosenthal is reporting via a source that the Astros have signed Livan Hernandez to a minor-league contract, with an invitation to Spring Training.
Hernandez is now 36 (he'll be 37 on February 20). He's spent the last two seasons and change with the Nationals, where in 2010/11, he threw 387IP, 415H/173ER, 213K:110BB, for a 4.02 ERA/1.36 WHIP. FanGraphs lists his xFIP at 4.57 in 2010, and 4.28 in 2011, with 4.8 WAR in those two seasons.
Back in September, FanGraphs' Eric Seidman had this to say about Livan:
He was always hittable and lacked top-notch stuff, but understood his limitations and smartly broke down the opposition. While it’s laughable to picture Hernandez teaching Stephen Strasburg how to throw 84-mph slop, it’s tough to imagine many pitchers better suited to teach these young arms. After all, you don’t tally 36 WAR on the mound, over 15 seasons and with subpar stuff, without having plenty of pitching know-how. For $1 million this season, the Nationals got 175+ league average innings and a second pitching coach. Not a bad investment at all.
Mark Berman has your quote via Luhnow:
"Livan has been doing it. Ever since he came over from Cuba many years ago, he's been an effective pitcher."