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 Reds complete swap for O's Hernandez

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PostSubject: Reds complete swap for O's Hernandez   Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:48 pm

Reds complete swap for O's Hernandez
Club deals Freel, two prospects for veteran catcher

LAS VEGAS -- The Reds on Tuesday completed a trade in which they acquired catcher Ramon Hernandez from the Orioles for utility player Ryan Freel and two prospects.

Baltimore will also receive Reds infield prospects Brandon Waring and Justin Turner. Cincinnati is believed to be receiving $1 million in cash from the Orioles in the deal.

"We set our offseason objectives, one of the big things for us was to try and acquire a quality catcher," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "We felt there was something that we were lacking last year. We have a young catcher in Ryan Hanigan who I think will help a lot this year and learn with Ramon Hernandez."

Hernandez, 32, is slated to make $8 million in 2009, with a 2010 club option worth $8.5 million with a $1 million payment. Freel is scheduled to make $4 million next season.

In 133 games last season, Hernandez batted .257 with 15 home runs and 65 RBIs. Defensively, he stopped only 19.5 percent (24-for-123) of runners stealing.

A veteran of 10 Major League seasons with the A's, Padres and Orioles, Hernandez is a .263 career hitter with 137 home runs and 602 RBIs.

When he skippered the Giants, Reds manager Dusty Baker's team played against Hernandez often during his Oakland days.

"He's caught some excellent staffs," Baker said. "He's had them as young pitchers when he was young. He's an All-Star that's been in the playoffs. He'll bring experience."

Freel, who has been with the Reds since 2003, was once an everyday center fielder for the Reds but missed much of the last two seasons with injuries. Last season, in only 48 games, he batted .298 with no homers and 10 RBIs.

Because of a torn right hamstring tendon that required surgery, Freel did not play a game after June 3 of last season.


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