Nats acquire Minor League 2B Greg Veloz from Mets

The Nats acquired second baseman Greg Veloz from the New York Mets in exchange for infielder Anderson Hernandez. The Nationals then recalled right-handed pitcher Saul Rivera from Syracuse of the Triple-A International League to assume Hernandez’s spot on their 25-man roster.


Veloz, who will report to the Single-A Potomac Nationals is a career .249 hitter with 77 doubles, 19 home runs, 145 RBI and 108 stolen bases in three-plus professional seasons. In his three complete pro campaigns, Veloz has averaged 30 stolen bases. He entered the season rated among the Mets’ top 25 prospects as listed in Baseball America’s 2009 Prospect Handbook.


A 6-foot-1 switch hitter, Veloz currently paces the Mets’ Minor League system with 18 stolen bases. In 2007, he led the Rookie-level Appalachian League with nine triples and ranked fourth in stolen bases, swiping 18 in just 66 contests. Veloz originally signed with the Mets as a non-drafted free agent in March of 2006.


Rivera, 31, rejoins the Nationals after going 2-5 with seven holds, two saves and a 3.55 ERA (18 ER/45.2 IP) in 30 appearanes with Syracuse. A member of the Nationals’ Opening Day roster, Rivera went 0-1 with an 8.49 ERA (11 ER/11.2 IP) in 10 appearances with Washington before being optioned to Syracuse on April 20.


Rivera is 12-15 with 45 holds, four saves and a 3.94 ERA (109 ER/249.0 IP) in 225 career games spanning four seasons with Washington. He entered 2009 having registered a sub-4.00 ERA in each of his three complete big league seasons. Rivera’s 225 career appearances rank second to only Jon Rauch (236) among Nationals (2005-present).


Hernandez, 26, hit .251 (58-for-231) with one homer and 23 RBI in 76 games with Washington this season.

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