Mets Trade for Anderson Hernandez

anderson-hernandez_thecatchTwo weeks short of the anniversary of the trade of Anderson Hernandez for Luis Ayala, the Mets have reacquired the slick-fielding middle infielder from the Washington Nationals.

Almost immediately upon arriving in Washington last year, AHern swatted the baseball like he never did before, batting .333 with a .409 OBP in 28 games and 91 plate appearances, walking 10 times and striking out only 8. That offensive outburst was enough to make us wonder if the Mets made a mistake in giving up on the previously light-hitting Hernandez — who perennially leads the Caribbean winter league in batting but flops upon returning to the States.

However, Hernandez went right back to his expected offensive output this year — .251 AVG, .310 OBP, 41 Ks in 255 times to the plate. So we can presume that 28-game hot streak was an aberration.

So it’s interesting that the Mets would bring him back to Flushing, considering he is redundant to Wilson Valdez and Argenis Reyes — both of whom remain in Buffalo. Though, personally, I always enjoyed watching AHern and given the choice of all three, would take him over Reyes and Valdez.

In return for AHern, the Mets sent A-ball infielder Greg Veloz to the Nats. Veloz is sort of a 21-year-old version of Hernandez (or Argenis Reyes) — a switch-hitting middle-infielder with above-average speed. He doesn’t have the fielding prowess of AHern nor Argenis, and in fact there was a time that the Mets felt he’d hit enough to move to 3B (he was their #16 prospect in 2008 according to Baseball America). However, he hit a disappointing 6 HRs in a little less than 600 plate appearances last season, and is hitting only .232 with 2 HR through 91 games thus far this year.

For a moment, I questioned why the rebuilding Nationals would trade away a still-young, Gold-Glove caliber second baseman but I guess they don’t see AHern hitting enough to ever be a regular. And, they have acquired a youngster who is quickly becoming a non-prospect but still has time to rebound. It’s not like the Nats are going anywhere in 2010 nor 2011, so they have time to wait.

With the arrival of AHern, I’m guessing that Luis Castillo’s “mild ankle strain” is worse than originally indicated.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Walnutz15 August 6, 2009 at 3:16 pm
    I was thinking the exact same thing, Joe — as this trade could provide a bit of insight as to how the Mets view the rest of Luis Castillo’s season.

    Trading for Anderson Hernandez tells me that the Mets will safe-guard against Castillo’s legs or maybe even trade value [crosses fingers - HA!] getting any worse this season with already-gimpy knees, and now a hobbled ankle to add to the mix.

    I’d be absolutely shocked if they brought Castillo back this year, with 2 years left on his contract and an actual “successful campaign” on the back of his baseball card to date.

    What a truly sad freakin’ season…..we just RE-ACQUIRED Anderson Hernandez. LOL

  2. gary s. August 6, 2009 at 10:22 pm
    another washington national loser acquisition.can omar ever trade for a guy from a winning team?i’m getting nauseous, i have to go..
  3. CatchDog August 7, 2009 at 8:19 am
    If someone gave you the following list of players in the beginning of the season and asked you to pick the player that would miss the most games this season, who would you have picked?

    Reyes
    Beltran
    Delgado
    Castillo

    Who would have thunk that Castillo would not only have a solid season but be the most dependable player on the list. Amazing.

  4. TheDZA August 7, 2009 at 9:42 am
    Q.
    Can Omar trade for any player, or with any team that is in no way connected with the Expos?

    A. Only if it’s John Ricco’s idea.

  5. Walnutz15 August 7, 2009 at 10:15 am
    As for his time in Washington, Hernandez added: “I’m satisfied. When I was with the Mets, I didn’t play every day. They gave me the opportunity to play every day here. I enjoyed it. I didn’t think I was doing too bad. But a couple things happened. I’m a player, so I have to take it.”
    ============================================

    Yeah, a couple of things happened Andy:

    1) The manager that played you every-day was fired. No coincidence, he’s also a long-time friend of Omar Minaya’s and was previously employed by our fine dis-organization; and

    2) Our decision-makers decided it was time to trade for another dime-a-dozen ballplayer — amidst an absolutely lost season.

    So, yes….couple of things happened — but the constant remains: the Mets still collect garbage, and it’s typically from the Washington National scrap-heap.

  6. isuzudude August 7, 2009 at 10:16 am
    Um, Jeff Francoeur?
  7. Oz August 7, 2009 at 11:19 am
    Omar is on an island by himself. All the other GM’s loves to see him in the position he is in today. He claims that a good move is one that you don’t make but that’s a cover up for other GM’s not wanting to trade with him! This trade totally makes sense. He wants to make it look like he can go out and get players but the only takers are the Nats (the ex-expos). We gotta get rid of this guy! He’s put our organization behind the 8 ball! It feels like other GM’s are kicking dirt on Omar and are quick to make moves with the Phillies to rub it in even worst!
  8. [...] Jake Goldberg was a late-round draft pick in 2008. After a disappointing season in the Gulf Coast League, he put up some nice numbers in Brooklyn and Savannah this year. I’ll try to get this card signed next season. I almost picked up Greg Veloz’s card, too, but then I remembered that the Mets traded him for Anderson Hernandez in August. [...]
  9. [...] fans use alcohol as a coping mechanism. After 10 beers I bet you could convince yourself that re-acquiring Anderson Hernandez is a great decision. So we drink less. I guess that is okay. It can’t get [...]