MLB Trade Rumors seems to think that maybe the O's would like to escape the last couple years of Ramon Hernandez, read on. The idea being that the Mets would like to replace Paul Lo Duca this offseason. They may be setting groundwork for Pittsburg's Ronny Paulino, who has shown some power . . . though not much plate discipline. Ramon is thought of as a more mature version of Ronny and with the Mets set up to win now . . . it might make sense to go with a plus offensive catcher with plus defensive skills. I agree that Brad Ausmus would be a good fit with the Mets. He has to be close to backup catcher material pretty soon though. Maybe a Paulino-Ausmus platoon would be viable.
Now, should the O's trade Hernandez with no heir apparent? Maybe we could turn Hernandez and questionable arm, maybe Johnson, for a Lastings Milledge and Kevin Mulvey. I might be one of the few to still believe in Milledge (if you discount the Mets top brass and some of the Bay Area graduates). I also believed in Jack Cust (he came out fine so far after his wrist surgery) and Milton Bradley (not so much). Mulvey is a good interesting arm that could develop into a bullpen guy. The thing is whether the Orioles can do with having no catcher for a year and a half. Who would they have in Hernandez' place? Some Bako-House combination. Although rather sad . . . it might be better to do that than give Hernandez 7MM or so to give us a minor tick up in offense. That is a contract more sensible to a team needing a final piece as opposed to one that needs to figure out most of the roster. It makes sense to me. Hernandez will not be the deciding factor in making this a playoff contention team, though it does leave us weak.