The first opportunity for offseason analysis arrived on Friday when the Twins traded Carlos Gomez to Milwaukee for J.J. Hardy. I meant to write something about the trade this weekend, but have found it more difficult to write with a baby in one hand than I remembered.
Gomez was one of my favorite Twins, though not really for his playing ability. That said, I think the team was better with him in center field despite his struggles at the plate. He was, however, not really being used here, and may be better off in Milwaukee. One of my favorite Gomez moments was when I discovered he was being used as a bullpen catcher at Metrodome. That was more interesting than the game on that particular night.
Overall, I think the move was a good one. Hardy is a better option at short stop than the Twins have even if he doesn’t regain the offensive form that led him to the 2007 All Star Game. He makes Orlando Cabrera and his .313 OBP expendable, and leaves the Twins one potential move away from making Nick Punto a bench player.
On top of that trade, the Twins extended Michael Cuddyer. That was not a surprise, nor was it a horrible move. It does, perhaps, illustrate the major negative of the Gomez/Hardy trade, however: Target Field may open with the worst defensive outfield in the major leagues when the combination of Young/Span/Cuddyer takes the field in April.