The Minnesota Twins began making offseason moves on Friday, parting with one of the key players they acquired in the Johan Santana deal (still a bad deal, but I digress …) by trading outfielder Carlos Gomez to Milwaukee.
In return, the Twins get former All-Star shortstop J.J. Hardy. Hardy hit 27 homers in an All-Star season in 2007 but struggled last season while hitting .228. He was even sent down to Triple-A Nashville at one point.
The deal means less of a logjam in the outfield for Minnesota, where Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer and yes, even Delmon Young deserve to play more than Gomez. Gomez has some skills, but until he can get on base regularly all that speed is hard to utilize properly.
Adding Hardy likely means that free agent Orlando Cabrera, a midseason acquisition in 2009, will be playing elsewhere in 2010.
If Hardy can return to 2007 form, he will be a good addition. If not, he’s still probably better than Nick Punto.