Jose Mercedes (pictured), a 39-year-old former Brewers and Orioles pitcher, is back in Saltillo after being a major contributor to last season’s title effort by going 5-0 in nine starts with 20 strikeouts in 51.1 innings. The Dominican right-hander went 14-7 for Baltimore in 2000, his best season in the majors during an eight-year career in which he finished 33-39 with a 4.75 ERA. Mercedes replaces closer Miguel Saladin, a fellow Dominican righty who was 0-5 with 18 saves (5th in the LMB) and a 6.19 ERA in 36 games.
The Saraperos also traded the rights to outfielder Jose de Jesus Munoz to Veracruz for veteran infielder Jose Amador. The 30-year-old Amador is in his eleventh Liga season, batting .306 with 59 homers over 775 games. In 2006, the Mexicali product hit .368 with nine homers for Laguna and was picked for the All-Star Game in 2007 en route to a .308 season for the Vaqueros. Amador brings a .306 season average to Saltillo, where he may replace weak-hitting shortstop Carlos Eduardo Gonzalez, who is only batting .247 with no homers and 12 RBIs in 67 games for the champions.
Munoz is on loan to Reynosa, where he’s batting .213, but will report to Veracruz next year.