Gaby Hernandez Rumors

Diamondbacks Acquire Gaby Hernandez

The D'Backs have acquired right-hander Gaby Hernandez from the White Sox, reports the official Twitter feed of the Reno Aces, Arizona's Triple-A affiliate.  Hernandez had a 7.69 ERA in 11 starts at Triple-A Charlotte this season and he has a career ERA of 5.76 in 81 Triple-A games.

Arizona is Hernandez's fifth organization in 17 months.  He was a Mariner, a Red Sock, and a Royal within a little over a month's time in early 2010, and then he was dealt to the White Sox last March.  Hernandez was originally taken in the third round of the 2004 amateur draft by the Mets. 

Central Notes: Royals, Indians, Cubs, Brewers

It's been a busy Friday for baseball's Central divisions, which have already featured prominently in a pair of trades and a pair of retirements. But the day's not over yet….

Minor Deals: Iribarren, Yankees, Zavada, Hernandez

The latest minor league deals, with fresh updates up top:

  • The Rockies have signed utilityman Hernan Iribarren to a minor league contract, reports's Thomas Harding.  Iribarren, 26, last played in the majors with Milwaukee in 2009, and spent last season playing with Texas' Triple-A affiliate.  Harding says Iribarren's deal includes an invitation to Colorado's Major League Spring Training camp.
  • The Yankees claimed righty Brian Schlitter from the Cubs, according to's Carrie Muskat (on Twitter). Schlitter, 25, appeared in seven games for the Cubs last year. He spent most of the season at Triple-A Iowa, where he posted a 3.15 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 45 2/3 innings.
  • The D'Backs re-signed lefty Clay Zavada. The 26-year-old thrived in 49 relief appearances in 2009, posting 9.2 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9. He spent part of the 2010 season at Triple-A Reno, but appeared in just five games before undergoing Tommy John surgery. 
  • The Royals re-signed right-hander Gaby Hernandez. Hernandez started 22 games for Kansas City's Triple-A affiliate in 2010, posting a 4.91 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 144 2/3 innings. The Mets selected Hernandez in the third round of the 2004 draft and he has also spent time in the Marlins and Mariners organizations.
  • The Padres added some catching depth, signing Guillermo Quiroz. The 29-year-old, who has big league experisnce with the Mariners, Blue Jays, Rangers and Orioles, spent last year in Seattle's minor league system. The backstop hit .286/.347/.431 in 361 minor league plate appearances. The Mariners have added two former Padres catchers this winter: Miguel Olivo and Josh Bard (a player I thought could have fit well on the 2011 Padres). San Diego already has former Mariner Rob Johnson, and the Padres continue to look for catching depth.

Royals Claim Gaby Hernandez

Pitcher Gaby Hernandez continues to bounce around, as the Royals claimed him off waivers from the Red Sox today according to a team press release.  The Mariners designated Hernandez for assignment upon signing Ryan Garko.  The Red Sox claimed Hernandez, but then designated him upon claiming Casey Fien.

Hernandez, 24 in May, posted a 5.23 ERA, 6.0 K/9, and 3.0 BB/9 in 146.3 Triple A innings last year.  Heading into the '09 season, Baseball America wrote that Hernandez "flashes three average or better pitches, but he often tries to be so fine that his stuff plays down."  At the time, BA suggested he could still become a No. 4 or No. 5 starter.

Red Sox Claim Casey Fien, Designate Gaby Hernandez

The Red Sox claimed pitcher Casey Fien off waivers from the Tigers today, according to the Tigers' official Twitter feed.  Fien was designated for assignment on Tuesday to make room for Johnny Damon.  The Red Sox announced that they designated former waiver claim Gaby Hernandez for assignment to clear a spot for Fien.  It's been a busy winter for Hernandez, who was designated for assignment by the Mariners when they signed Ryan Garko.

Fien, 26, posted a 3.41 ERA, 10.2 K/9, and 2.3 BB/9 in 58 Triple A relief innings this year.  He struggled in 11.3 big league frames, which marked his Major League debut.  Baseball America ranked Fien 27th among Tigers prospects, writing that he "profiles as a middle reliever."  Still, his minor league command is intriguing.

Red Sox Claim Gaby Hernandez; Designate Manuel

The Red Sox claimed righty Gaby Hernandez off waivers from the Mariners, according to a team press release.  He'd had been designated for assignment when the Ms signed Ryan Garko.  Hernandez, 24 in May, posted a 6.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, and 5.23 ERA in 146.3 Triple A innings last year.  The Red Sox claiming Hernandez means all but a handful of MLB clubs passed on him.

To make room for Hernandez, the Red Sox designated pitcher Robert Manuel for assignment.  They'd claimed him from the Mariners off waivers in November.  Manuel, 26, posted a 2.88 ERA, 6.7 K/9, and 2.2 BB/9 in Triple A last year.

Yusmeiro Petit, designated to make room for Erik Bedard, cleared waivers and was outrighted to the Mariners' Triple A Tacoma club.

Mariners Designate Gaby Hernandez For Assignment

Righty Gaby Hernandez was designated for assignment to make room for Ryan Garko, according to a Mariners press release.

Hernandez, 24 in May, posted a 6.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, and 5.23 ERA in 146.3 Triple A innings last year.  He was acquired from the Marlins for Arthur Rhodes at the '08 trade deadline.  The Marlins had acquired Hernandez from the Mets for Paul Lo Duca in December of '05.  Baseball America ranked Hernandez 21st among Mariners prospects heading into the '09 season, but he didn't crack their top 30 in the brand new 2010 Handbook.

Arthur Rhodes Traded To Marlins

1:41pm:’s Jonathan Mayo takes a look at Hernandez.

9:46am: According to ESPN’s Peter Gammons, the Marlins have acquired lefty reliever Arthur Rhodes for 22 year-old righty Gaby Hernandez.  The Fish acquired Hernandez in ’05 for Paul Lo Duca.  Hernandez is a solid return for Rhodes, even if he struggled in a Triple A stint this year.  He spent some time on the DL this year with a left intercostal strain.

Rhodes, 38, has a 2.86 ERA in 22 innings this year after missing ’07 due to Tommy John surgery.

Burnett, Hoffman, Manny, And More

Latest hot stove from around baseball:

Jayson Stark and Jerry Crasnick are reporting from Dallas that the Blue Jays are close to signing A.J. Burnett to a five year, $55MM deal.  Seems Burnett’s agent is going back to Walt Jocketty one last time before finalizing the deal in an attempt to squeeze that fifth year out of him.  We’ll know soon enough if Jocketty caved in.

According to Hot Stove All-Star Ken Rosenthal, the Indians are nearing a deal with Trevor Hoffman for $21-24MM over three years.  For a team that got a solid year out of the decaying corpse of Bob Wickman, this seems a little unnecessary.  Especially since Casey Blake and Aaron Boone are currently penciled in as two automatic outs.

Just noticed today that for some reason, Omar Minaya has yet to do an interview with Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog.  C’mon Omar, show some respect to baseball bloggers.  Cerrone would conduct a better interview than most newspaper writers for sure.  Matthew has also dug around in the whole Gaby Hernandez mess, and concluded that yes, the Marlins did indeed acquire him in the LoDuca trade.

On that topic, my Mets source tells me that the Marlins initially insisted on a Major League-ready player for LoDuca.  After the Mets declined that request, they asked for Gaby Hernandez.  The agents for Ramon Hernandez and Bengie Molina weren’t responding to Omar Minaya’s offers, so he agreed to the LoDuca deal.

The Red Sox wouldn’t mind hanging on to Manny, and my sources say that there’s a good chance a deal does not get done.  Only if a team coughs up true star power like, say, a Carlos Beltran, will the Sox send him packing.

Kris Benson should be shipped out of town pretty quickly.  Mets’ management doesn’t think Benson will ever be a consistent pitcher, and their distaste for him has nothing to do with his annoying wife. 

The possibility of the Mets acquiring Barry Zito is remote at best.  Billy Beane is demanding Lastings Milledge, and Zito’s agent is not guaranteeing a 72 hour window for a contract extension.  It is more likely that Minaya simply waits a year and signs Zito as a free agent.  Javier Vazquez is still very much on the radar, and his past failure under the New York spotlight does not faze the Mets.

Peter Gammons and others are saying the Mets’ signing of Mark Grudzielanek will be made official Thursday. 

Mets management is content to go into spring training with Xavier Nady and Victor Diaz duking it out for the right field spot. Let’s just hope Tike Redman doesn’t get regular playing time.

My earlier Andy Marte to the Twins blurb turned out to be more than idle speculation.  A source has confirmed that the Twins have offered Jesse Crain, Kyle Lohse, and unknown prospects for Marte.

Thanks to Brandon, John, and Brian.

Mets Considering Javier Vazquez

All sorts of trade rumors coming from my source close to the Mets’ front office.  While it is well-known that the Mets are interested in Arizona righthander Javier Vazquez, my source names a pitching prospect contrary to published reports.

According to my source, the Mets are considering dealing Kris Benson and 19 year-old blue chip pitcher Gaby Hernandez for Vazquez.  Up to this point, published reports have named the polished 24 year-old Brian Bannister as the prospect in the deal.

While Hernandez has not pitched above A ball, he has a much higher ceiling than Bannister.  Bannister did impress in 45 Triple A innings in 2005, however.

Vazquez’s problem lately has been the long ball.  His HR/9 rate has hovered above 1.4 while his strikeout and walk rates were superb last season.  Unfortunately for the Mets, Vazquez carried his home run woes with him on the road in ’05.  It will troublesome if he continues to do so, but there’ s no doubt that Shea Stadium suppresses home runs (by 16%) and Chase Field inflates them (by 13%).

Even if Vazquez continues to surrender home runs, he’s a marked improvement over Kris Benson.  Benson managed a 4.13 ERA in 2005 to Vazquez’s 4.45, but consider:

He’s two years older than Vazquez. 
He was much worse away from Shea Stadium.
He hasn’t pitched 200 innings in a season since 2000.
His 2005 strikeout rate was a career low.

Considering that the Mets appear to be entering extreme "win now" mode, the Vazquez trade is a good move even if Gaby Hernandez pans out in 2007.