By Mike Steffanos
Thanks to MetsBlog for spotting this in the Daily News:
Daily News: Paul Lo Duca traded to the Mets
Bill Madden is reporting that the Mets have acquired catcher Paul Lo Duca from the Florida Marlins for top pitching prospect Gaby Hernandez. I think a lot of us felt that talk of the Lo Duca trade was just a ploy to put pressure on Ramon Hernandez and Bengie Molina. For almost as much money, the Mets have obtained a catcher inferior defensively to both free agents.
The 19 year old Hernandez was the top pitching prospect in the Mets farm system after they traded away Yusmeiro Petit. He was ranked the #3 prospect in the Mets system by Baseball America, behind only Lastings Milledge and the departed Petit. The Marlins will also receive another minor league pitcher to be named later.
There has been some speculation that the Mets will use Lo Duca as a chip to obtain starting pitcher Javier Vazquez from Arizona. If not, I don't know what to say about this. Again, I can't fault Omar's logic on this one, but I'm beginning to question what he's doing. I understand that Gaby Hernandez is young and pretty far from the majors, but it's starting to look like Minaya is willing to completely gut the farm system at the same time as he is making the Mets themselves much older.
I have to avoid passing judgment until I see what happens this week in Dallas, but I'm starting to get very nervous over the direction Omar is taking us.