The Mets have traded Gaby Hernandez (a top pitching prospect) and a player to be named later, supposedly another minor-league pitcher, to the Marlins for Paul LoDuca.
I'm not thrilled by this deal at all. LoDuca is entering the same steeply declining phase of his late career that Piazza has been in for the last couple of years. He's overrated as a hitter (though perhaps still a marginal upgrade over Castro), and almost as poor at controlling the running game as Piazza. He's under contract for the next two years for a decent chunk of change (ca. $6M/yr), too. Why not just go for Ramon Hernandez if you're spending that much money? Still, LoDuca is thought of as a good guy, and calls a decent game as far as I can tell, so there's no big harm (aside from financial) in platooning him with Castro depending on who turns out to hit better. It hurts to lose Hernandez, and the farm system is beginning to look quite thin. At least we can be sure that Bengie Molina isn't going to be clogging the team's 2008 payroll.