Mets Add Luis Ayala

The Mets have acquired right-handed reliever Luis Ayala from the Washington Nationals in exchange for all-field no-hit shortstop Anderson Hernandez. The trade will be completed once Hernandez clears waivers, which he will considering that he's a terrible baseball player. I'll admit to not understanding how the trade waivers work, exactly, because in theory some other team that didn't want this trade to go through could claim Hernandez, thus kibosh-ing the whole deal.

Ayala turned 30 in January and has been pretty awful this year, though he does throw a lot of innings and has had very good control over the course of his career. He missed all of 2006 with elbow surgery. He has walked about two batters per nine innings as a big leaguer, though that rate is a bit higher over the past two seasons. He was more of a groundball pitcher in his early years with the Expos, though he still does a good job keeping the ball in the park.

The bottom line is that this is a low-risk move for the Mets. Ayala is almost certainly not the pitcher he was three or four years ago, but Anderson Hernandez is practically useless, so to get a potentially serviceable reliever for nothing is a good move in my book. The trade will likely mean the end of Eddie Kunz's first cup of coffee with the Mets, though I imagine he'll be back in a couple of weeks when rosters expand.

Ayala has a 2.61 ERA in 12 appearances against the Phillies covering last year and this (Day-by-Day Database).

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