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Hernandez to Cincinnati

The big news you’ve no doubt already heard from the winter meetings: listless backstop Ramon Hernandez has been traded to the Reds.

To which the Orioles fanbase responded, “someone took Ramon??”

Seriously, this is a great move, and further proof that AndyMac is some kind of wizard.

As for Ryan Freel, I suppose we haven’t really had a quality utility guy here since, what, Chris Gomez? If Freel can be that kind of player, great. But, in all honesty, who cares? The path is clear for Matt Wieters to win the job, and that alone makes ’09 an exciting year.

One downside: no more Joe Angel calling out Ra-MOAN…Air-NAN-dez! We’ll live.

12 comments to Hernandez to Cincinnati

  • sci

    The move is good as a salary dump, but let’s not go overboard praising this trade. Freel is a reasonably useful utility guy, but he’s 32. And here’s what Keith Law from ESPN (who’s great) has to say about the prospects we got:

    Given the number of teams looking for catching help, it’s a bit surprising that Baltimore couldn’t get a package including at least one solid prospect. Turner is probably an extra guy in the majors, although with a little luck he could turn into an everyday second baseman. He is a well-below-average runner who makes a lot of contact but doesn’t have power or hit many line drives. He can’t be a utility player because he can’t play short. Waring is an organizational outfielder with atrocious plate discipline; he struck out in more than one-third of his 2008 at-bats despite being old (23) for the Midwest League.

  • sci

    That said, I love that we got anything for Ramon. Thank the lord he’s gone. And I guess this haul shows how far Ramon’s stock has fallen. Wasn’t it just about two years ago he was considered one of the best all around catchers in the league?

  • neal s

    His first year here was great: 23 HR, 91 RBI, .275/.343 at the plate, and I remember him being above average defensively. Whether he just hit a wall or lost his taste for playing on a losing team, I’m just glad he’s gone. I’m not at all impressed with the return, but whatever. Bring on Wieters.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Try since Jeff Reboulet. What a man. What a mustache. I salute that.

  • neal s

    Ahh, Reboulet. A trooper.

    I liked Gomez though. He was a dead ringer for Randy Travis.

  • Greg

    Maybe Ramon will get his spark back playing for a losing team in Cinci.

  • rick

    excellent trade. Hernandez had become an albatross, so good riddance.

    I like the energy, hustle and talent Freel will bring, and the prospects sound better to me than the ESPN guy’s assessment, but time will tell.

    Hopefully MT will be made an offer sufficient enough to have him sign with the O’s despite more monies being offered elsewhere. Somehow I feel, maybe naively, that the hometown aspect will be very important to him, and after all – how many millions are enough?

    However, it is going to be pitching and defense that will win championships, and the jury is still out on these aspects. The shortstop from the Cards seems to certainly be a defensive asset, and the prototypical SS of old, e.g., great defense and any offense is a bonus.

  • dan the man

    I dunno, sci, I don’t think Ramon could have commanded any type of top prospect. Last year we couldn’t pawn the guy off for a bag of balls. This off season we would have loved to get rid of him for a bag of balls, but instead we got a solid major leaguer and 2 young infielders, one of which, the second basemen, could be the bench infielder we’ve been digging through our system the past few years to find.

  • sci

    I see your point. I’m fine with the trade – I just don’t think it’s amazing. Regardless of what we think of Ramon, he’s a decent trade commodity in this weak catching market. I’ll take it though, like I said.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    I wouldn’t knock Keith Law’s assessments…he’s right more often than he’s wrong. He’s a real smart dude, and really, think about it. We basically traded contracts, Hernandez for Freel…but we also got 2 prospects. The odds of getting 3 major league quality players for Ramon Hernandez is kind of low, just from a common sense point of view. I mean, you never know what player X will turn into, but I doubt either of these guys is anything better than Scott Moore or Mike Constanzo.

    Meanwhile, the Orioles seem to have inked Cesar Izturis to a deal, pending a physical. Probably 2 years. Great. It’s been a good meeting so far, in my book. Now, about the pitching staff…

  • Joe the Guy

    I think CC’s fat ass, I mean, contract, was creating a logjam and the pitchers should hopefully start flowing like wine now

  • Marc "Fighting" Unger

    Great a utility guy no one cares about and a shortstop whose offensive numbers are comparable to…

    FROM BASEBALL REFERENCE.COM

    1. Omar Vizquel (962)
    2. Steve O’Neill (960)
    3. Ivan DeJesus (958)
    4. Rafael Ramirez (958)
    5. Mickey Owen (955)
    6. Jose Lind (954)
    7. Tito Fuentes (952)
    8. Jose Oquendo (949)
    9. Jerry Remy (949)
    10. Ron Hunt (948)

    He’s Bert Campaneris without the speed. And before any of you say “Yeah but Bert Campaneris was an allstar on a World Series team!” let me remind you that offensive output at the shortstop position is a bit more important now than it was in, um 197FREAKING3!

    This just in- Orioles land starting pitcher Odalis Perez!!