Nationals Trade RHP Ayala to Mets

Posted by Dave Nichols | Sunday, August 17, 2008 | , | 0 comments »

After some confusion with the press releases this morning from the team,'s Bill Ladson reports:

"The Nationals traded right-handed relief pitcher Luis Ayala to the Mets on Sunday morning for a player to be named later, but that player is expected to be infielder Anderson Hernandez.

Ayala requested the trade weeks ago because he wanted a change of scenery. He was going through a divorce and had other off-field problems.

Ayala has struggled this season, compiling a 1-8 record with a 5.77 ERA in 62 appearances.

Hernandez will join the Nationals on Tuesday against the Phillies. He will be a backup infielder for the remainder of the season."

At least the man with two last names is healthy and a legitimate shortstop, instead of having to run Ronnie Belliard and Pete Orr out there.

Ayala leaves the Nats/Expos organization after five major league seasons. His career record is 37-32 with a 3.32 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. This year has been his worst as a pro though, going 1-8 , 5.77, 1.47 and his struggles recently have been worse than that. He's given up six earned runs over 6.1 inning in his last six appearances. He was once considered one of the best set-up men in baseball, but Tommy John surgery after his injury in 2006's World Baseball Classic has reduced his capacity and he has not been the same pitcher since.

Hernandez used to be a pretty decent prospect in the Mets organization, however, the luster has really fallen off of his star. He's hit over .300 several times in his seven-year minor league career, but this season is undoubtedly his worst. With Triple-A New Orleans, he's batting .201/.264/.306 with 5 HRs, 35 RBIs and 11 SB (with 7 CSs) in 441 at bats. Some of that can be attributed to the Mets yanking the starting 2B job from him last year in the Luis Castillo trade, but he's not made any reason for the Mets to regret their decision, despite Castillo's deflating numbers.

Anderson has not made an appearance for the Mets this season. He has a lifetime .139 average in 87 major league at bats.