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08/20/2008 1:49 PM ET
Nationals acquire Anderson Hernandez from Mets to complete Sunday's trade for Luis Ayala
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The Washington Nationals today acquired shortstop Anderson Hernandez from the New York Mets, completing Sunday's trade that sent right-handed reliever Luis Ayala to the Mets in exchange for a player to be named later. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement.

The switch-hitting Hernandez-once ranked among the Mets' top 10 prospects, he peaked at No. 8 entering the 2006 season according to industry-insider Baseball America-has swiped 166 bases at the minor-league level. Originally signed by Detroit in 2001, Hernandez rated as the best defensive infielder and as owning the top infield arm in the Tigers' system two years later by Baseball America.

Hernandez appeared in 125 games this season with Triple-A New Orleans, recording a team-best seven triples and 21 doubles (tied) while batting .203 with five home runs, 36 RBI and 11 stolen bases. Last season, he earned the Mets' Sterling Organizational Player of the Year award after hitting .301 with 28 doubles, five triples, five home runs, 42 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 128 games with New Orleans. His 167 hits in 2007 ranked second in the 16-team Pacific Coast League.

In 2005, Hernandez was named Double-A Binghamton team MVP en route to hitting .315 with 35 stolen bases at the two highest levels within the Mets' chain. The 25-year-old has played in 35 games for New York (NL) the last three seasons, and was a member of the Mets' Opening Day 25-man roster in 2006.

Following last night's game, the Nationals optioned infielder/outfielder Kory Casto to Triple-A Columbus. Casto hit .193 (22-for-114) with seven doubles, a home run and 10 RBI in 49 games with Washington.
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