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Mets acquired catcher Paul Lo Duca from the Marlins for two players to be named.

The trade is official, but it hasn't been confirmed that right-hander Gaby Hernandez, perhaps the Mets' top remaining pitching prospect, is being included. Lo Duca is expected to remain with the Mets rather than be included in a Javier Vazquez deal. Hopefully, he'll get a little more rest than usual to prevent him from wearing down. We're not at all certain that he's a significantly better player than Ramon Castro. Lo Duca will likely hit lower in the lineup than he's used to, so don't expect big

 

This better not be true. Not only that, They are CRAZY for thinking he is not much better than Castro. What a joke!

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Nope, it's Gaby.

 

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http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=mets...ov=st&type=lgns

 

Marlins continue purge, finalize trade of C Lo Duca to Mets

 

December 5, 2005

MIAMI (Ticker) - For the second time this offseason, the Florida Marlins' fire sale has found a buyer in the New York Mets.

 

The Marlins finalized a trade Monday of All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca, who has two years and $12.5 million left on his contract, to the Mets for minor league righthander Gaby Hernandez and another prospect.

 

The 33-year-old Lo Duca, a native of Brooklyn, has made the National League All-Star team in each of the last three seasons. He is regarded as one of the league's top offensive catchers as well as an excellent handler of pitching staffs and a clubhouse leader.

 

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"When the offseason began we had three main priorities; to fortify our bullpen, add an impact middle of the lineup presence and solidify our catching," New York general manager Omar Minaya said. "We feel we have addressed those needs with Billy Wagner, Carlos Delgado and now Paul Lo Duca. We are not done trying to improve our club."

 

Despite being hampered by nagging injuries for most of last season, Lo Duca still batted .283 with six homers and 57 RBI in his first full campaign with the Marlins. His 659 hits the last three years is third among major league catchers, trailing only Jason Kendall (823) and Ivan Rodriguez (701).

 

Lo Duca was acquired by Florida from the Los Angeles Dodgers at the 2004 trading deadline in a swap that sent righthander Brad Penny and first baseman Hee-Seop Choi to the West Coast.

 

The catcher becomes the latest Marlin to be shipped out of town by general manager Admin Beinfest in an attempt to significantly reduce payroll.

 

In the last two weeks, the Marlins have traded ace righthander Josh Beckett, reliever Guillermo Mota and third baseman Mike Lowell to Boston, second baseman Luis Castillo to Minnesota and Delgado to the Mets.

 

"I figured when they traded Josh Beckett, that this might happen," Lo Duca told Floridamarlins.com on Sunday.

 

The six players Florida general manager Admin Beinfest has moved has saved the Marlins over $90 million in salary as they try to trim a $65 million payroll down to around $30 million.

 

And Beinfest is not done. Center fielder Juan Pierre and lefthanded reliever Ron Villone likely are the next candidates to move, possibly at this week's winter meetings in Dallas.

 

While Florida continues to move key players, the team also is looking to relocate the entire organization. The Marlins have received permission from Major League Baseball to begin looking for another home after owner Jeffrey Loria was unable to reach a deal for a new stadium in South Florida.

 

"I know it's hurting Mr. Loria," Lo Duca said. "He wants to win so badly, but with no stadium, he is doing what he has to do."

 

The 19-year-old Hernandez, a native of Miami, was considered one of the Mets' top pitching prospects. The 6-3, 215-pounder went 6-1 with a 2.43 ERA for low Class A Hagerstown in the South Atlantic League this past season. He finished the campaign at Class A St. Lucie, where he went 2-5 with a 5.74 ERA.

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