Freel (and others) for Hernandez (and cash)

Ramon Hernandez, Ryan Freel

• A deal that sends outfielder Ryan Freel and minor-league infielders Justin Turner and Brandon Waring to the Orioles for catcher Ramon Hernandez (and at least $1 million in cash) has been finalized.

Quotes from Walt Jocketty:

“It was part of our report from scouts. … We had scouts who saw him in the past and saw him again this year. They thought there was some level of frustration that he had been experiencing. We talked about it. I did some research with people I know who have had him. I got great reports.”

“We do think a change of scenery will help him immensely. We’ve got a pretty good pitching staff. I think he’s a guy who will work well with that staff and develop that staff and have renewed energy.”

I would imagine Ryan Hanigan should still get considerable playing time, seeing as how Hernandez has only had more than 500 at-bats in a season once in his 10-year big-league career (he did have 23 homers and 91 RBIs that season). And he’s not getting any younger (he’ll be 33 in May). He was good for at least .275 for a few years there but his average has dropped a little the past two years (.258 in 2007 and .257 last season). He also threw out just 20 percent of runners last season and led the majors in passed balls with 10.

Baltimore could afford to part with Hernandez because of the emergence of Matt Wieters. Turner and Waring have impressed in the minors and AFL. Both were seventh-round picks. But they were both expendable because one’s a second baseman with less potential in the Reds’ eyes than Brandon Phillips and the other’s a third baseman with less than Juan Francisco.

So it’s just a matter of figuring out where to deal solid mid-level prospects. It makes sense that they sent Freel but you just hope they didn’t give the Orioles too much for a guy who hit .257 and didn’t impress defensively.

• Other Hot Stove rumors du jour: The very end of this MLB.com story by Mark Bowman says a source has indicated the Reds may have interest in Jeff Francoeur.

• FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal says Marlins outfielder Jeremy Hermida is drawing interest from the Reds, Cubs, Braves and Rays.

• And here’s MLB.com’s latest about Jermaine Dye. White Sox GM Ken Williams apparently is keeping Dye abreast of all developments, telling Dye he hasn’t been traded but there has been interest, from the Reds and others.

5 Comments

  1. Dan

    Seems that the Dye talk is dead “for today”

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/12/dye-trades-dead.html

  2. Dan

    err…. “for tonight, anyway”

  3. Dan

    Freel for Hernandez is a done deal…

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/12/ramon-hernandez.html

    The Reds are also sending two prospects – nobody named right now. Also, the deal looks to be contingent on the O’s picking up some of Hernandez’s salary – his owed $8 million in ’09.

  4. Dan

    ah Dave, you are quick!

  5. warnickart.com

    Everyone has been reporting $1 million in cash, but I saw on cbssportsline.com that Baltimore will be sending us $3 million. It will be delivered in 20 black briefcases.

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