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Brewers and Twins swap Hardy for Gomez

Nov 6, 2009, 12:49 PM EDT

For months now the assumption has been that the Brewers would trade J.J. Hardy this offseason and they wasted no time getting a deal done, sending the 27-year-old shortstop to the Twins for 24-year-old center fielder Carlos Gomez.
The deal makes sense for both sides. Milwaukee soured on Hardy during a career-worst season, sending him down to Triple-A while committing to top prospect Alcides Escobar as the long-term answer at shortstop. They also have an opening in center field with Mike Cameron leaving via free agency, and while his bat remains a question mark Gomez is among the elite defensive outfielders in the game.
Minnesota has long been rumored to have interest in Hardy and the fact that his demotion to Triple-A pushed free agency back another season no doubt appealed to the budget-conscious Twins. Gomez fell behind Denard Span and Delmon Young in the Twins’ outfield pecking order, rarely playing down the stretch, and has made little progress offensively since coming over from the Mets in the Johan Santana trade.
Milwaukee picks up a speedy, Gold Glove-caliber center fielder with tons of physical tools who still has plenty of time to develop further offensively. Minnesota gets a relatively young shortstop who’s under team control through 2011 and prior to struggling this season batted .277/.323/.463 with 26 homers in 2007 and .283/.343/.478 with 24 homers in 2008. Some trades just make sense and this is one of them.

  1. The Common Man - Nov 6, 2009 at 1:01 PM

    The drop-off defensively is disappointing. With a fly-ball oriented staff, the difference between Young-Span-Cuddyer and Span-Gomez-Cuddyer is huge, though I suppose that’s the same alignment that we won with in September and October. At least this sorts out the OF situation going forward and eliminates some of the drama.
    Now, I Don’t Know’s on 3B. Who takes his spot? Valencia?

  2. Mike - Nov 6, 2009 at 1:04 PM

    Milwaukee could have done much better. This is a big win for Bill Smith.

  3. Cheap Seat Chronicles - Nov 6, 2009 at 1:22 PM

    I think this is about as win-win as it gets.
    Two guys who really have no role with the current club and bring a lot to the table defensively.
    Both can still blossom into fine hitters or stay where they are.
    Both teams get ‘em under control for awhile.
    It makes perfect sense…both had bottomed out value.
    Depending on who you ask, either team could have gotten more. I think it was an act-quick deal on both accounts. Twins wanted Hardy and got him. The Brewers wanted an answer in the outfield. They’ve got it and they’ve got money to get a free agent starter or trade Gamel and bank some more cash.

  4. SBG - Nov 6, 2009 at 1:44 PM

    Now I’m going to have to watch the Yankee shortstop to get my fix of two strike foul bunts.

  5. berselius - Nov 6, 2009 at 2:31 PM

    This was a HUGE win for the Twins, I think. They bought low on Hardy. He’s a fringe AS shortstop who had a bad year.

  6. Mark Fox - Nov 6, 2009 at 6:05 PM

    Cabrera could still end up at short with Hardy at 3rd.

  7. Steve Johnson - Nov 6, 2009 at 6:33 PM

    Cabrera could still end up at short with Hardy at 3rd.
    Fortunately, that won’t happen. Even the Twins are at least partially aware of Cabrera’s much-declined defense.

  8. lookatthosetwins - Nov 6, 2009 at 6:45 PM

    Good plan mark. Move an elite defender at short for an aging, mediocre one. Who on earth would do something like that? No, I mean besides the Yankees.

  9. moopdog - Nov 6, 2009 at 7:03 PM

    First of all, Gardy made it clear that he’d rather play Young than Gomez. Gomez was a late-inning defensive replacement in the games that mattered.
    Second of all, Morneau was out when the Twins made their run, and the OF alignment was Young-Span-Kubel. Even with Kubel in RF, Gardy still left Gomez on the bench.
    I’m not looking forward to seeing Delmon play every day, but at least we don’t have Gomez riding pine instead of developing at AAA. Hopefully Revere or Hicks make big strides in the next couple years.
    The Twins have never had a 25 HR season from a SS. The last guy to hit at least 15? Roy Smalley, with 24 in 1979.

  10. Russ - Nov 6, 2009 at 8:06 PM

    I worry that Gomez will overrun Milwaukee and end up in Chicago.

  11. nice - Nov 6, 2009 at 8:30 PM

    Nice

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