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December 6, 2010

Hernandez calls trade 'bittersweet'

David Hernandez has heard the rumors for weeks that he would be traded from the Orioles. That became a reality today when he was informed by his agent that he had been sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks, along with reliever Kam Mickolio, for slugging third baseman Mark Reynolds.

Hernandez, who is a California native, admitted that the news was bittersweet.

"I'll have a chance to play closer to home, but I always thought I'd be in Baltimore for years to come," he said in a phone interview with The Sun 10 minutes ago. "It just didn't work out that way. I'll miss all the friends I made there, the guys in the clubhouse. The organization did some good things for me. I thought I was part of the future there, but somebody has to go to make improvements. You can't keep everybody.

"I'm not bitter at all. I appreciate the organization and the city, and there's always a chance I can go back."

Hernandez, one of the good guys in the Orioles' clubhouse the past couple of years, said he still hasn't spoken to any officials from the Diamondbacks, so he wasn't sure what his role will be with his new team. However, he would like the opportunity to start.

"I'd like to have a chance to be a starter," he said. "I feel like I can still be one, but that's out of my control."

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Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 12:34 PM | | Comments (35)


What made him a "good guy" in the clubhouse, versus being a "bad guy"?

Good luck David. I hate this trade. You are more valuable to the O's than this Reynolds guy will be striking out all the time.

What a classy dude. I wish the best for him and who knows, when he hits free agency in a few years maybe we'll make a play to sign him again.

I think this was a good trade to make to fill a huge need for us. Reynolds has his flaws but he brings some much needed power to this lineup.

I'd much rather Hernandez was traded for a power hitting 3rd baseman than one of the shortstops that was mentioned.

Good luck, Dave. The Orioles are making a huge mistake. Reynolds can't even do as much for the team as what Josh Bell could. You'll like playing at Chase Field.

With Boston trading for Adrian, any chance we look at Adrian Beltre and put Reynolds at 1B?

Class act Dave.

I hope we do get you back, although it'll cost us down the road.

For now, let's hope Reynolds can develop into more than a one-dimensional player.

Good deal for the Orioles. The bat is more important. Lets see what Bucks crew can do with M Reynolds. This could pay dividends.

To quote Nancy Kerrigan after the Gillooly to her kneecap: "Whhhyyyyyyyyyyy?" Hernandez will no doubt thrive in AZ. At least the fans in the upper deck in Camden Yards will be kept cool by the breeze generated by Reynolds' whiffs on those hot July nights. Wait...what fans?

Robert -

Josh Bell struck out 53 times and walked twice in 159 big league at bats last season. And he put up a .302 SLG%.

Throwing Bell into the fire at third base in 2011 would be just as disastrous. He needs at least a full year at AAA to figure out how to stop swinging at every breaking ball that comes his way.

Sure, Reynolds strikes out a ton, but at least he knows how to talk a walk. And hey, Reynolds's walk total has increased every year since he made it to the majors.

Reynolds could be a disaster, but he also has the ability to hit .250 with 40+ homers. Considering the fact that he's about the best we'll get with this sorry excuse for a General Manger, I'm for giving Reynolds a shot. Especially if Josh Bell is our only other option.

The number of fans lamenting the loss of a long reliever in the bullpen is insane to me. We're giving up two guys destined to be nothing more than bullpen pitchers for a legit 35-40 HR, 27 year old third baseman. How is that not a win for the Orioles? Once the Orioles determined Hernandez was a starter of the future he became expendable.

good luck david, i wish the Os had more faith in you than a terrible 3b.


Reynolds' OPS is above .800 every year. That means he's a wildly productive hitter, even with all of his strikeouts. He'll hit 35 HRs a year in OPACY and drive in a lot of runs with Roberts and Markakis hitting ahead of him. He's immediately the best bat on the Os team, and we got him for our third or fourth best reliever. The fact that anyone has a bad word to say about the deal is proof that some people are fully commited to being discontent.

Since NB is giving Reynolds a shot, I will give Reynolds a shot as well. I am glad we didn't give up Tillman for Reynolds. That would have been disaster! Somehow, I really did convince myself that Alex Gordon 3b and Billy Bulter 1b would have looked good in Orioles Uniforms. But now that is a fading memory or something that just really wasn't going to happen, I will turn the page!

Jeff since we signed Reynolds is there a better chance that we could sign Adam LaRoche? I like the idea of having some familiarity and continuity in the infield. Plus, I hear the National are interested in LaRoche. Maybe we can beat them to the punch this time. The one caveat to that is the Orioles would have to want to punch in the 1st place.
I thought the O's would have shown some interest in Werth.. oh well.

Lastly, Good Luck David Hernandez.
it's funny, I thought you should have been the Orioles all star rep in 2010 and now you're being traded.. oh well!

Time will tell, but Reynolds could reach 50 homers in our little park. He should also provide good protection for Jones/Markakis.

Or, he could just be another Glenn Davis.

AK- do yourself a favor and look up his career stats before you start typing. it makes you look dumb

I don't know why everyone thinks this move is horrible other than Orioles fans seem to want to just criticize every move. Yes, Reynolds strikes out a lot, and maybe Hernandez has potential as a closer but he's not the next Curt Schilling.

Additionally Reynolds was very unlucky last year his BABIP was .070 lower than his average, and as a fly ball hitter he'll benefit from being in Camden yards. And if Bell was put at 3B for a year he'd likely strike out 300 times

I thought we grow the bats and buy the arms...or is it buy the arms and grow the bats???? Umm lets trade for the vets and sell the arms...IM CONFUSED

Alex - making trades is great, fine by me. but i have a hard time when they trade for pieces of junk like reynolds. he is NOT a good player.

The year before this year he hit .260. He was injured a bit last year. Give him a chance to prove himself.

Alex, I will continue in your positive spirit and the fact I was just talking to someone else about this.

The fact of the matter is at least Mark Reynolds swings and strikes out

I mean the Orioles could have traded for Ryan Howard who just looks at the pitch when the 3rd strike is called. Now there's a guy who could use a hitting instructor like "Jimmy". I can't tell you how many times I saw Ryan Howard stand there in 2010 and take the third strike. And what's even more amazing is that little ritual of his in between pitches.

I would much rather have a guy who swings at the ball, then like ryan howard, who does hit majestic home runs. But in the past few years, he not only looks at the 3rd called strike and then complains to the umpire about it.
Even if it's right down the middle of the plate fast ball.. ridiculous!

One other think,

Jeff, I am reading the blue jays might be looking at Greinke. They might consider trading Drabek. Why can't the Orioles consider this? I mean Tillman and Jake A. looked as good as Drabek last year.
I mean I not an expert on projections, but I think we could match the blue jays in trade value here!
This four man rotation would look pretty sweet.


Orioles 3Bs in 2010: .290 OBP, 21 walks. Reynolds in 2010: .320 OBP, 83 walks

Some people seem to complain not matter what AM does. I for one am glad we did not sign Jayson Werth for that contract. He is not that type player. They will feel bad in a few years. He is not an elite player.

Reynolds will hit .250 with 40 homers and we will be glads we have him. I do agree DH was a big price!

Reynolds and Scott will make a deadly 5-6 hitter combo. Backed up by Jones and Wieters in the 7 & 8 holes there is a chance for the O's to have hitters slotted where they have the best chance of some success.

Sign Vlad Guerrerro and the O's are suddenly solid 3-8.
Andy swallow really hard, and offer Carl Crawford a contract 7yr. 18-20m per year deal market rate deal and the lineup's real solid 1-8.

Resign Izturis for an insurance and then start coaching Robert Andino and the lineup's solid and only one pitcher that was in the club's plans was given up in a trade.

I know you have to give up something to get something (some would argue if we got anything in return) but damn I really liked Hernandez. If he started in the pen his era would have really been impressive. All I know is Reynolds better produce. I don't wish any bad juju on Hernandez but its going to really suck to watch him excell in another uniform when he could have here. He should do good in the lite hitting NL West. Sorry to see him go.

This improves us two ways. One, he's the most legit power hitter we've had in some time. Two, having a big bat in the lineup means Markakis sees better pitches rather than trying to shoulder the lineup like he did last year.

Giving up two relievers (aside from your closer) for a big bat is a good move.

Reynolds is an excellent pick-up, considering what we gave up. And yes, I liked Hernandez a lot and had confidence in Mickolio making the grade. One other fact I like about Reynolds is he grew up in Virginia, the Virginia Beach area so he is more local than many players. Plus he is signed thru 2012 with a team option for 2013. And we are paying Reynolds about 1/3 what Dunn cost the White Sox.

But we need bats. At least 1 more.

Unless MacPhail can pull a rabbit out of his hat (in this case a Konerco rabbit) LaRoche that would also be a good move. LaRoche strikes out a lot as well, but his numbers pretty much mirror Luke Scott's. LaRoche is a pretty decent fielder, however.

As for Josh Bell, he has averaged 1 K per 3 at bats in the majors (Reynolds 1K per 2.8 at bats), but only 1 walk in like 80 at bats. His HR's are not there either. Clearly he needs more AAA seasoning. I do like Bell's defense potential at 3rd.

I'm okay with this move, it could easily be a bust but at the same time it could help out a lot. Sure, Reynolds average stinks and he strikes out too much but he still hit 30+ HRs last year and has the capability to hit 40. That is the kind of guy we need, hopefully he can hit in the American League cause if he can I see him being pretty productive at the Yard.

For those all bent out of shape by Reynolds strikeouts, here is something to consider:

If a player hits .300, especially over the course of his career, he is considered to be a very good player. He's considered even better if he hits .300 while only striking out minimally. However, that .300 BA still means that 7 out of 10 times they have an official PA, they FAIL to get a hit. Now, it doesn't matter if those all 7 of those 10 times they strikeout or if it's only 2 out of the 10, most times, they accomplish the same thing: NOTHING.

Now, I realize that Reynolds has a much lower average (but still a decent OBP) and that if the ball is put in play, a runner could advance, but I would argue that the merits of the argument still hold, and that the power potential is far better than the occasional extra 90 feet.


Don't forget that a stikeout avoids the double play as well.

I'm obviously not promoting strikeouts but there are many times when I wished Cal or Miggy would have struck out instead of hitting into a 6-4-3 inning ending double play with runners on the corners or the bases loaded.


Good luck David! I'll root for you in AZ.

Squirrel makes good points. Billy Butler and Greinke are both great players. Love to have them.

As to the trade that did happen, if nothing else it will at least be interesting to watch. Unlike the bizarre Josh Bell experiment. I think, and i'm guessing on this, that when Showalter got here and watched Bell he had a hard time justifying giving the kid minutes. He was just so overmatched. As folks here recall, Andino made most of the third base starts the last couple weeks.

Also, the O's still have that cache of free agent money to throw at first base. And if they find a good taker (Laroche, Bell, Konerko) then they can afford to get defensive at shortstop and re sign Izturis. Though i wouldn't mind giving Andino a shot there . Thanks

2011 Prediction:

27 Homers and 256 strikeouts. Tougher division, different conference, lower homers and better pitching.

David Hernandez is one of those guys who could make fans regret he was tradeed. Maturity on the mound may be all he needed to be a 15-18 game winner with huge starter innings.

When you possess a 'shut down' player, he becomes missed when he's gone, because 'shut down' players are hard to come by. David, at time in 2010, was a 'shut down' player when the rest of the staff was struggling. Mostly as a reliever, but he also did as a starter at least once.


There is a simularity between Curt Schilling and DH. Both of had strong arms, working as relievers in the Orioles pen, showed flashes of potential and wanted to start, but didnt (DH was removed as a starter, but still wished to start), and for DH, he could also prove to make the O's pay for this trade.

"Reynolds' OPS is above .800 every year - AK"

Except when it's not, like when it was .779 in 2008 and .752 in 2010.

He did strike out over 200 times each of the last three seasons.

I'm not sure if he qualifies as a "bat", but the O's certainly did not "buy" him, as they traded away 2 "arms" for him, and a good "arm" in David Hernandez.

Well, it's good we let Wiggy go: his $7.5 million 2-year deal would've sunk the O's payroll.

I can only hope that Reynolds will bounce back to his 2009 form in 2011, but that kind of wishful thinking didn't do anything to improve Garrett Atkins' disastrous 2010 season.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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