Pitching Probables
Injuries: AL | NL
Minor Leagues
MLB en espanol
Message Board

News Wire
Daily Glance
Power Alley
MLB Insider

Jim Caple
Peter Gammons
Rob Neyer
John Sickels
Jayson Stark
ESPN Auctions
Monday, March 24
Updated: March 25, 9:23 PM ET
Emotional Hernandez skips chance to clear out locker

Associated Press

VIERA, Fla. -- The Montreal Expos acquired Livan Hernandez from the San Francisco Giants on Monday night, uniting the former World Series MVP with his half brother, Orlando Hernandez.

Tue., March 25
What a brilliant move by Giants GM Brian Sabean.

You've heard of addition by subtraction? You'll rarely see a better example than this one. Livan Hernandez figured to be the fourth-best, or perhaps even the fifth-best, starter in the Giants' rotation. Now that he's off to join his half-brother in Montreal (and San Juan), the Giants are practically forced to give rookie Kurt Ainsworth a shot. And if somebody can convince Sabean to dump Ryan Jensen in favor of Jesse Foppert (another rookie), the Giants will really have something interesting.

Livan Hernandez, fearful he might be too emotional, didn't show up at Scottsdale Stadium to clear out his locker Tuesday following the trade.

But before taking an afternoon flight to Florida, he exchanged pleasantries by telephone with some former teammates who were sad to see him go to the Expos, .

"Livo is my best friend -- I'll miss him,'' said reliever Felix Rodriguez. "But this is a business. You're here one day, and gone tomorrow. We talked on the phone about seven times. He's happy. He's going to be with his brother (Orlando Hernandez).''

Montreal acquired Livan Hernandez and catcher Edwards Guzman and $3.2 million in exchange for pitcher Jim Brower and a player to be named. The money will pay all of Livan Hernandez's salary but the $300,000 minimum.

Livan Hernandez, 28, was 12-16 with a 4.38 ERA last year for the Giants, and he has a 69-69 major league record and 4.42 ERA since defecting from Cuba. He won the World Series MVP award with Florida in 1997.

"I think there's an upside in this trade,'' Expos general manager Omar Minaya said. "He pitches a lot of innings. Let's hope they're quality innings.''

Orlando Hernandez, acquired from the New York Yankees during the offseason, will miss at least one regular-season start because of tendinitis in his right shoulder.

"He's getting better,'' Minaya said. "He's coming along pretty good.''

For the Giants, trading Hernandez opens a spot for right-hander Kurt Ainsworth, who was in the rotation to start last season because Jason Schmidt had a hurt groin, but was sent down to Triple-A Fresno when Schmidt recovered. Ainsworth was 8-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 116 innings at Triple-A Fresno.

He joins Kirk Rueter, Schmidt, Damian Moss and Ryan Jensen in the rotation.

Livan Hernandez wasn't a good fantasy pitcher while with the Giants, but he wasn't a bad fantasy pitcher in San Francisco. And that's the problem with putting any stock in a bounce-back season in Montreal. Hernandez's home ERA last season was 3.99, while his road ERA was 4.70. In San Francisco, Hernandez had a great pitching park and a winning team behind him. He won't have the former in Montreal, and the latter is no guarantee. That bodes poorly for his fantasy outlook.
--Graham Hays

  • SP rankings
  • "Hernandez is a guy we will miss regardless of his record,'' Giants general manager Brian Sabean said. "He always made his starts and kept us in games. It's obvious Ainsworth is ready in our minds to pitch immediately. That's unanimous in the clubhouse with the manager, the coaching staff and the front office.''

    San Francisco also is interested in seeing the development of prospect Jesse Foppert, who has been impressive during spring training.

    Late last week, the Expos found out that projected opening-day starter Javier Vazquez will miss time with a strained calf muscle. It still is unclear whether he will be ready to go for the opener, and he'll be evaluated again later this week.

    Livan and Orlando Hernandez will be only the second set of brothers to be teammates on the Expos, joining Vladimir and Wilton Guerrero, who played together from 1998 to 2000 and again last year.

    Guzman, 26, hit .297 with five homers and 55 RBI with Triple-A Fresno last season.

    Brower, a 30-year-old right-hander, was 1-2 with a 4.38 for the Expos after he was acquired from Cincinnati last June 14 for left-hander Bruce Chen.

     ESPN Tools
    Email story
    Most sent
    Print story
    Daily email