Anderson Hernandez traded to Mets [update]

The Nationals have traded second baseman Anderson Hernandez to the Mets for second baseman Greg Veloz on Thursday.

The switch-hitting Hernandez started the season as the everyday second baseman, but he slumped badly and hit .255 during the first half. He was then told before the All-Star break by then-manager Manny Acta and current manager Jim Riggleman that he would lose playing time to Alberto Gonzalez, who was swinging a hot hitter at the time.

“I wanted to play like everybody else,” Hernandez said. “Like I say, the situation happened. I know they wanted to see Gonzalez play at second base, so I just have to take it. There’s nothing I could do.”

Hernandez did not take the news well. According to baseball sources, he pouted for most of the second half because Riggleman used Gonzalez and Ronnie Belliard at second base. 

The final straw came on July 30th against the Brewers. Hernandez was taken out of the game on a double switch. Hernandez was taking groundballs when he received the news that he was out of the game. He was upset, threw his glove in the dugout and was yelling at no one in particular. The Nationals’ “think tank” then decided he had to leave the team.

“I was a little upset because I just went on the field. Nobody told me anything before,” Hernandez said. “But that’s all right. It happens. 

Veloz, who will report to Class A Potomac, is a career .249 hitter with 19 home runs, 145 RBI and 108 stolen bases in three-plus professional seasons.

In his three complete pro campaigns, Veloz has averaged 30 stolen bases. He entered the season rated among the Mets’ top 25 prospects as listed in Baseball America’s 2009 Prospect Handbook.

A 6-foot-1 switch hitter, Veloz currently paces the Mets’ Minor League system with 18 stolen bases. In 2007, he led the Rookie-level Appalachian League with nine triples and ranked fourth in stolen bases, swiping 18 in just 66 contests. Veloz originally signed with the Mets as a non-drafted free agent in March of 2006.   

To replace Hernandez on the roster, the Nationals recalled reliever Saul Rivera from Triple-A Syracuse. 

Rivera, 31, rejoins the Nationals after going 2-5 with two saves and a 3.55 ERA with Syracuse. A member of the Nationals’ Opening Day roster, Rivera went 0-1 with an 8.49 ERA in 10 appearances with Washington before being optioned to Syracuse on April 20. 


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