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The Mets announced a minor trade today with the Dodgers to acquire infielder Chin-lung Hu for Michael Antonini. We saw a bit of Hu in 2008 when the Mets were in L.A. playing the Dodgers. At the time, Hu was playing shortstop for an injured Rafael Furcal. He got into 65 games that season and looked like your typical backup middle infielder. Good glove and can’t hit. He’s a career .191 hitter in 96 big league games. That’s been a major disappointment as Hu is a .299 career hitter in the minors over parts of seven seasons.
Hu’s presence on the roster will allow the Mets greater flexibility with Ruben Tejada. Sandy Alderson has talked about wanting Tejada to get more minor league at-bat’s this season. Hu will compete for playing time at second base with Brad Emaus, Luis Castillo, Luis Hernandez, and Justin Turner.
The contract situation for Hu is favorable as well. He only has 0.153 MLB service time and won’t be arbitration eligible until 2012. He isn’t eligible for free agency until 2016.
Michael Antonini rose to Triple-A Buffalo last season but his 4.49 ERA was disappointing. He was taken in the 18th round of the 2007 draft the first two seasons were impressive for the lefty starter. But his 5.74 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A in 2009 and his aforementioned 2010 ERA were cause for concern. He certainly wasn’t looking to be a factor at the Major League level in 2011.