Mets acquire lefty Williams from Reds

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets made another trade to help their injury-depleted pitching staff Thursday, acquiring Dave Williams from the Cincinnati Reds for a minor leaguer.

The Reds got right-hander Robert Manuel in the deal and assigned him to Class A Dayton. They also sent about $500,000 to the Mets to
cover half of Williams' remaining salary this season. Williams is
making $1.4 million this year.

The 27-year-old lefty was designated for assignment by Cincinnati on Saturday. He was 2-3 with a 7.20 ERA in eight starts.

"We've added to our stockpile of pitching," Mets general
manager Omar Minaya said. "It enables us to fill some holes caused
by the injuries to some of the players we had. It gives us

In his last start, Williams gave up six runs in three innings of Cincinnati's 9-8 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday. He went 10-11
with a 4.25 ERA for the Pirates last season and is 19-29 with a
4.56 ERA in 74 major league games, including 66 starts.

Cincinnati acquired him from Pittsburgh last offseason for first baseman Sean Casey and cash.

"We see Williams as a starting pitcher and we're going to send
him to Triple-A with that in mind," Minaya said.

Trying to upgrade the back of their rotation, the Mets acquired veteran right-hander Orlando Hernandez from Arizona on Wednesday
for reliever Jorge Julio.

Victor Zambrano is out for the season following elbow surgery and rookie Brian Bannister is still sidelined with a hamstring injury. John Maine, who filled in for one start, is also on the disabled list because of inflammation in his right middle finger.

After trading starters Kris Benson and Jae Seo in the offseason, New York has been scrambling to fill the void, using Jose Lima and Jeremi Gonzalez behind the steady trio of Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine and Steve Trachsel.

Gonzalez was designated for assignment Thursday after New York's
loss to Philadelphia. He allowed three runs and seven hits in six
innings of a no-decision, leaving him with a 7.71 ERA in three
starts. The Mets have 10 days to trade, release or send him
outright to the minors.

If Gonzalez clears waivers, New York manager Willie Randolph said the team would like to send him back to Triple-A Norfolk.

The right-hander was cut to make room on the roster for Hernandez, expected to join the team Friday in Florida and make his Mets debut with a start on Sunday.

Another reason Gonzalez became expendable was the promising major league debut of Cuban defector Alay Soler on Wednesday night
against the Phillies.

"We're going to go with Soler in the rotation for now," Minaya
said. "This gives us some comfort zone and we'll have to see how
it works out."

Lima was designated for assignment on Saturday.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Manuel is 22 years old. He went 8-1 with a 2.06 ERA in 12 games of rookie ball with the Gulf Coast Mets last