Clearly, reports that the Reds were going to open the winter meetings with a splash by trading for Jermaine Dye were premature. Still, Walt Jocketty has been active this week and on the second day of the activity in Vegas it looks like he has pulled the trigger on a trade, even if it's not the deal everyone was talking about two days ago. Instead, they've sent resident crazy-person Ryan Freel to Baltimore in exchange for Ramon Hernandez.
Lest you think this rumor is just more smoke coming out of Vegas, Ken Rosenthal's got it confirmed while Walt Jocketty told Cincinnati reporters, "I'll tell you all about it later," when asked about the move. According to John Fay, it looks like the only thing holding this up is the approval of the commissioner's office because it involves more than $1 million.
Looking at this quickly from both team's perspectives, the Reds are picking up a catcher that they hope is going to have a little more pop that Paul Bako and Javier Valentin did last year, though Hernandez has been pretty bad the last two years with the O's. Baltimore, meanwhile, has no use for Hernandez because the best prospect in baseball right now, Matt Wieters, is probably ready for prime time after obliterating just about every level of pitching he saw last year. In Freel they pick up a utility guy who's aging, but who can probably be useful at getting on base if he's healthy. Of course, he hasn't really been healthy in two years, so that's a big question mark.
Two full days of rumors and we get Ramon Hernandez for Ryan Freel. Yep, this is what the winter meetings is all about.
The Reds Make a Trade That Doesn't Involve Jermaine Dye originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Tue, 09 Dec 2008 15:52:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.