Mets, Royals exchange relievers

By Jim Callis
January 26, 2004

In a trade of staggeringly minor proportions, the Mets sent lefthander Jaime Cerda to the Royals on Tuesday for righthander Shawn Sedlacek.

Cerda, 25, signed with the Mets as a 23rd-round draft-and-follow out of Fresno CC in 1999 but had his original deal voided because of a pre-existing elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. He accepted a lesser bonus from New York and was good to go by mid-2000. Cerda has carved up minor league hitters, compiling a career 1.40 ERA against them, but hasn’t had the same success in the majors. He went 1-1, 5.85 in 27 games for the Mets in 2003, allowing a .267 opponent average and posting a poor 19-20 strikeout-walk ratio in 32 innings. Cerda achieves nice sink with his 89-91 mph fastball but needs to improve his breaking ball and changeup to succeed in the majors. He has a career 1-1, 4.34 record in 59 big league appearances.

Sedlacek, a 14th-round pick out of Iowa State in 1998, led his league in victories twice in his first three pro seasons but hasn’t had nearly as much success since. He went 5-13, 6.26 in 32 games (18 starts) between Double-A Wichita and Triple-A Omaha last year. In 124 innings, he gave up a .331 average and 14 homers while putting together a 67-32 K-BB ratio. He lacks an out pitch against advanced hitters, throwing an 85-88 sinker, a mediocre curveball and a changeup. He made 16 appearances (14 starts) for Kansas City in 2002, going 3-5, 6.72.