Yesterday, the New York Mets completed a trade to acquire Orlando Hernandez from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for relief pitcher Jorge Julio. Ostensibly, the trade was made to shore up the Mets pitching staff, which has been ravaged by injury of late, with Victor Zambrano suffering a season-ending elbow injury and Brian Bannister still working his way back from a hamstring injury.
While the trade is questionable on many levels (why trade for a 40-year-old starting pitcher with a history of injuries?), what is even more bizarre is the rationale being used by the New York Mets GM Omar Minaya to justify making such a trade. They obviously enjoy laughing in the face of logical thinking.
One look at Minaya's quotes demonstrates just how much he enjoys it.
"We're happy to have El Duque," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said. "We needed starting pitching. The thing I liked a lot is he has pitched in New York. He's happy to be coming back to New York, a place he knows and a place that knows him."
If the only qualification for a trade for a player is whether or not he has pitched in New York before, maybe Minaya could have called Jeff Weaver or Al Leiter or Fernando Valenzuela. But if Minaya wanted to trade for a pitcher who could provide a modicum of success, maybe he should not have traded for one who has not made more than twenty-two starts since 2001, whose OPS-against has been increasing every year since 2002, whose ERA+ was 87 last year, thirteen percent below the league-average, and whose pitches per start is the lowest of his career.
Also, Minaya should be less hasty in saying Hernandez is happy to be coming back to New York.