Jose Hernandez returns to Pirates

Updated: January 3, 2007, 4:11 PM ET
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Utility infielder Jose Hernandez, who has played twice previously for Pirates manager Jim Tracy, agreed Wednesday to a minor league contract with Pittsburgh.

Hernandez would get a $900,000, one-year contract if he is added to the 40-man roster, a $50,000 raise from last season. He split 2006 between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, batting .263 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 85 games.

The 37-year-old Hernandez was batting only .146 on May 22. He raised his average to .267 before being dealt to the Phillies for cash on Aug. 22.

Hernandez also played in 58 games for Pittsburgh in 2003, following the trade that sent third baseman Aramis Ramirez to the Chicago Cubs. He played for Tracy's Dodgers a season later, batting .289 with 13 homers and 29 RBIs in 95 games.

Hernandez has played for nine teams since breaking into the majors with the Texas Rangers in 1991, including multiple stops with the Pirates, Indians and Cubs.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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