Friday, November 6, 2009

Twins Acquire JJ Hardy

It didn't take long for the Brewers to make the trade everybody saw coming.
"The ticker tape was still falling in Manhattan on Friday when the Brewers dealt shortstop J.J. Hardy, a staple of trade rumors this year, to the Twins for speedy center fielder Carlos Gomez. The Brewers announced the trade on their official Twitter feed."
From the Twins' perspective, this trade is a major boon. Before acquiring Orlando Cabrera from the A's last July, the Twins struggled to find a capable starting shortstop, who could give them some production at the dish. Even though Hardy struggled in 2009, you have to remember that in the two seasons prior, Hardy hit 26 and 24 home runs respectively, which made Hardy one of the best hitting shortstops in baseball. This is a good risk for the Twins, who needed to add some impact right handed hitters to their lineup. This acquisition also means that Orlando Cabrera will not be returning to the Twins in 2010.

In addition, it will be interesting to see what this deal means for the Twins' payroll. With a new ballpark opening up in 2010, the Twins budget has been rumored to be on the rise for sometime now. By acquiring JJ Hardy, the Twins will be adding around $4 million in salary, but could it signal a more aggressive approach to free agency?

From the Brewers' perspective, moving Hardy became a necessity. With Alcides Escobar entrenched at short, there was no way that the Brewers could justify paying Hardy around $5 million next season to be a bench player. The Brewers' payroll simply does not give the team that luxury and most baseball people presumed that Hardy would be on the move this winter.

The acquisition of Carlos Gomez is a shrewd move by GM Doug Melvin. Gomez is still young and raw, but he has fantastic tools and is one of the fastest players in baseball today. But Gomez gives GM Doug Melvin tons of options moving forward this offseason. Because of the Gomez acquisition, the Brewers are likely to let free agent center fielder Mike Cameron walk, which should free up roughly $10 million dollars for Melvin to spend on starting pitching.

Overall, this trade has the potential to be a win-win for both sides.


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