August 6, 2009

Trade Veloz-ity

The 2009 Mike Rizzo Low-Budget Housecleaning Tour rolls on. The Nats traded 2B Anderson Hernandez back to the Mets for A-ball 2B Greg Veloz. John Sickels ranked the 21 year-old Veloz the 17th-best Mets prospect coming into 2009, and Baseball America placed him in the organization's top 25. A rough year has probably dimmed Veloz's prospect luster somewhat, but he's a solid return for two months of Anderson Hernandez on a going-nowhere Mets team.

Hernandez, you'll recall, was originally acquired from the Mets for Luis Ayala (of sainted memory.) While it would have been nice to persuade Omar Minaya of the absolute necessity of acquiring Ronnie Belliard, shipping out the playing time deficient Hernandez is an acceptable Plan B. Frankly, anything the Nats can do to ensure Omar Minaya's continued employment in the Mets front office, they should do.

On the Nats end, this is exactly the type of deal Rizzo should be making in bulk. Hernandez lost out to the Attorney General in the battle of underwhelming utility infielders, Belly-yard is being showcased for a post-deadline trade and Mike Morse is tearing up Triple-A. The Nationals, meanwhile, are back in the market for a full-time second sacker (along with a closer, veteran starter, and everything else they were looking for last season.)

Veloz may never amount to anything (the odds are much worse than 50/50) but for the Nats, neither would Hernandez. The Johnson and Beimel trades were "must" deals. Today was a "should" deal. Hopefully the first of many.

UPDATE: This is not the deal I had in mind. Per Nationals Farm Authority (via teh Tweeter) Nats acquire Norris Hopper and Daryle Ward from the White Sox for cash. First reaction: Hopper makes sense as AAA outfield depth, Ward makes sense only if Belliard is getting traded/DFA'd in the next 20 minutes. Second reaction: "Holy $#&%, the Lerners are handing out cash! Get thee to the ballpark, pronto."

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