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Another Mets Trade

Blue Jeans

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NEW YORK -- One day after bolstering their starting rotation with Orlando Hernandez, the Mets continued to add veteran pitching on Thursday, picking up left-hander Dave Williams from the Cincinnati Reds.

The Mets sent Minor Leaguer Robert Manuel, a 22-year-old right-hander, to the Reds for Williams, who will be optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. The Reds will also pick up part of Williams' salary in the trade.


"We've added to our stockpile of pitching," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said. "In the last two days, we were able to get Orlando Hernandez and Dave Williams. Going forward, I think we were able to fill an area that has been a concern to us."


After Thursday's game, the Mets also designated right-handed pitcher Jeremi Gonzalez for assignment, setting up a new pitching sequence for the club beginning on Sunday.


Hernandez will make his Mets debut at Florida, followed by Steve Trachsel on Monday against Arizona at Shea Stadium. Williams could have slotted into the Mets' rotation for Tuesday, but the team decided to give 26-year-old Alay Soler his second Major League start.


With Williams on hand at Triple-A, Minaya said he believes the Mets have added pitching depth in their organization.


In recent weeks, the Mets have called upon Triple-A starting pitchers John Maine, Jose Lima and Gonzalez, while promoting Soler from Double-A Binghamton and briefly considering last year's first-round pick, Mike Pelfrey, for a Major League start.


"What this [trade] does for me is [it] gives us numbers," Minaya said. "We're also able to develop some of our younger guys and not have to rush them. I think it'll complement us and give us a better chance with the starting rotation."


Williams, 27, was acquired by the Reds from the Pittsburgh Pirates last offseason for infielder Sean Casey and cash. In eight starts for the Reds this year, Williams was 2-3 with a 7.20 ERA, allowing 54 hits and 34 runs (32 earned) in 40 innings.


A five-year Major League veteran, Williams had walked 16 and struck out 16 before being designated for assignment by Cincinnati on Sunday. In 2005, he had one of his best seasons, going 10-11 with a 4.25 ERA in 25 starts for the Pirates.


The Mets parted with Manuel, who signed with New York as a non-drafted free agent last June.


He was 8-1 with a 2.06 ERA in 12 games (five starts) for the Gulf Coast Rookie Mets last season, and also appeared in two games for Class A Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League. He had been working out in the club's extended Spring Training program in Port St. Lucie, Fla.


"I would say you can never have enough pitching," Minaya said. "This will give us some comfort room to be able to bring two guys who are veteran Major League pitchers into our rotation."

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Good for them...it looks like they really want to win it all this year.

Heh, I wouldn't say that judging by this trade. From what I heard, he's going straight to Triple AAA.


Manuel had some pretty good numbers in his rookie league though.

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