Rangers Acquire Hamilton

In a trade that makes little sense for either team, the Cincinnati Reds have traded hot-shot outfielder Josh Hamilton to the Rangers for two minor league pitchers, Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera.

Hamilton burst on the scene last spring, winning a job out of spring training after being plucked in the Rule 5 draft. He spent part of the season as the everyday centerfielder, hitting 19 homeruns, 47 RBI, and a .292 average in less than 300 at-bats.

Purportedly, the Reds were anxious to rid themselves of an outfielder to make room for their minor league player of the year Jay Bruce, who is as yet an unproven commodity. Strange that they’d deal away an athlete such as Hamilton when the rest of the outfield consists of the mule-like Adam Dunn (who plays leftfield like a first baseman) and 38-year-old Junior Griffey, who is likely in his last year as a Red.

In return, the Reds received a little lefty (Herrera) who tops out at 82 MPH and a mysterious enigma named Edinson Volquez. Volquez is clearly the better of the two, but has a career 7.20 ERA at the MLB level.

Also strange, if Volquez is any good, why would the Rangers part with him? Hasn’t their issue been pitching since, well, their inception in the early 1970s?

Hamilton, by the way, joins Milton Bradley in the Texas outfield.

Who am I to criticize … surely those teams know what they’re doing.

In related news, the Rangers are close to signing lefty reliever Eddie Guardado, and also have their eye on Bartolo Colon, Jason Jennings, Mark Hendrickson, and Mike Maroth.

In unrelated news, the Indians signed former Met pitcher Matt Ginter to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

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.