A few more notes on the Minnesota Twins acquiring shortstop J.J. Hardy from the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday for outfielder Carlos Gomez:
- Hardy’s acquisition should ensure that the Twins won’t be re-signing Orlando Cabrera. There’s always the possibility – if the Twins moved Hardy to third base – but it’s highly unlikely.
- I heard La Velle E. Neal of the Star Tribune on Dan Barreiro’s show Friday. He mentioned how the Twins approached Hardy last offseason, and the Brewers asked for Kevin Slowey and Denard Span. After Hardy hit .229 this season, his trade value apparently plummeted.
- Neal mentioned he thinks Hardy would probably hit seventh in the Twins’ lineup, meaning that they’re still lacking a No. 2 hitter, since Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire doesn’t seem interested in sliding everyone up a spot, putting Joe Mauer at No. 2, Justin Morneau at No. 3, etc. My guess is if Hardy has a good spring, he’ll bat second. Pretty good lineup, assuming Hardy can bounce back to some degree from a poor 2009 campaign.
- Gomez sounds like he’s almost assured of an everyday job with the Brewers. Milwaukee is not expected to bring center fielder Mike Cameron back.
- A lot’s been made of Gomez and Hardy each having hit .229, but it can’t be denied that Hardy has had success before. In my opinion, there’s a much better chance Hardy finds his groove again than there is of Gomez suddenly having an epiphany in terms of plate discipline.
- Hardy and Mauer are pretty good friends, stemming from their days as teammates on U.S. national teams. Mauer’s contract expires after the upcoming season.
- Speaking of Mauer, here’s an interesting couple of paragraphs courtesy of Twinsbaseball.com:
The Twins’ plans are to work this winter on signing Mauer to a contract extension. Hardy certainly supports the idea of having the catcher around for the foreseeable future.
"I know they’re already working on it, and I’m excited about that," Hardy said early on Friday afternoon in an interview with MLB.com "I really like him. We clicked right from the start."
Makes me wonder if Hardy knows something about the contract talks, or if he’s just talking.
Here’s a couple of interesting links from Fangraphs: