Not content with Phillies-killer Tim Redding or former Phillies flameout Freddy Garcia, the Mets have signed Livan Hernandez as an additional fifth starter candidate. From MLB.Com’s Marty Noble:

The Mets’ ongoing search for starting pitching depth has led them to a familiar surname, Hernandez. No “El Duque” this year, but Livan Hernandez is coming. The club has agreed to a Minor League contract with El Duque’s younger — of course he’s younger — half-brother and invited him to Spring Training.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel mentioned Hernandez as a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation Saturday morning during a state of the team address. Indeed, Manuel mentioned the 12-year veteran before he mentioned Freddy Garcia, Tim Redding or Jon Niese. Unmentioned was Pedro Martinez, who general manager Omar Minaya essentially dismissed as a potential Mets…

Hernandez has won at least 11 games in each of those nine seasons and produced a 120-112 season in that period. His career record is 147-139.

“He’s our new Pedro,” one Mets player said. “Or our new Duque.”