Mets To Dump Freddy Garcia?

6:24pm: According to Brian Costa of the Newark Star-Ledger, Mets manager Jerry Manuel stopped just short of naming Hernandez his fifth starter on Wednesday.

"I tell you what, he was pretty good today," Manuel said. "He has a good presence about him on the mound, in the dugout, teammates seem to really – it's like he brings a little bit different energy for us. So I would have to say that he's put himself in a real good position."

2:53pm: The New York Post's Bart Hubbuch writes that "it's probably safe to say Freddy Garcia won't be long for Mets' camp."

It's just speculation at this point without word from manager Jerry Manuel or GM Omar Minaya, but it's pretty clear that the Mets have better rotation options.  Garcia gave up four runs on four hits in just one inning Wednesday against the Braves and is still, as Hubbuch writes, "throwing what amounts to batting practice with his surgically repaired right shoulder."

Livan Hernandez and Jon Niese are both enjoying decent spring campaigns, and Tim Redding's contract should eventually land him a spot on the squad.  Dumping Garcia would save the Mets around $8.5MM in potential incenctives.

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