Deal for Hernandez Done?

<b>*Updated*</b><br> The San Diego Padres have gotten their catcher, or they will have him within 24 hours. Ramon Hernandez and Terrence Long will be dealt by the Oakland Athletics to the Friars for Mark Kotsay. A deal is in the works and the finer points are being hashed out at this hour.

As reported here just this morning, Mark Kotsay will be sent packing in favor of Ramon Hernandez and Terrence Long.

When we spoke with Oakland officials yesterday they confirmed talks were ongoing, but they would not specify anything more. Having spoken with David Littlefield of Pittsburgh last week and him telling us that talks are dead between the Padres and Pirates, Hernandez became a priority.

"We're close to a deal but nothing has been finalized and we're continuing to work on it," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said.

Hernandez batted .273 in 140 games for Oakland in 2003 with 21 home runs and 78 runs batted in. He was signed as a non-drafted free agent by Oakland on February 18, 1994 and saw his first major league action in 1999, when he appeared in 40 games for the Athletics and hit .279.

The 27-year-old Hernandez is a lifetime .253 hitter with 60 homers and 263 RBI in 595 games.

Long struggled last season for the Athletics, as he batted just .245 with 14 home runs and 61 RBI in 140 contests. The 27-year-old was selected by the Mets' organization in the first round (20th pick overall) of the 1994 free- agent draft. He made three appearances as a pinch-hitter for New York in 1999.

No further details are known at this time and we will update you as news becomes available.

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