Got this as a text on my Blackberry...
It looks like the Ramon Hernandez era has ended in Baltimore, as he is going to Cincinnati in exchange for Ryan Freel. I'd expect more changes to possibly come, and perhaps a veteran catcher (Gregg Zaun, anyone?) to join the squad.
Of course, the move also gets Matt Wieters one step toward Baltimore (assuming he makes the club out of spring training)...
From the AP: The Reds have reached preliminary agreement with the Orioles on a trade that will send catcher Ramon Hernandez to Cincinnati for outfielder Ryan Freel and two prospects, according to a major-league source.I think business is about to pick up during these meetings; thus, I don't know what to think of this deal yet, but it was evident to me that Ramon had to go.
The deal is pending the approval of the commissioner's office, because it involves a cash transaction of more than $1 million.
On Monday, major-league sources said the deal would not be completed unless the Orioles picked up a significant portion of Hernandez's remaining salary.
Hernandez is owed $8 million in 2009 with a club option of $8.5 million or a $1 million buyout for 2010, meaning he is guaranteed $9 million.
Despite what many thought of him as a player, he was nothing but a cool guy to the fans after games and whenever he was in public (at least from my observations). Maybe he just got tired of the losing, stopped trying make an effort, started to dislike the Baltimore organization itself and needed a change.
Happy trails, Ramon.