The Alcides Escobar era has officially begun. The Brewers clear the way for their young phenom by trading J.J. Hardy to the Minnesota Twins for speedy center-fielder Carlos Gomez. Does this trade mean that Mike Cameron’s option won’t be picked up by the Brewers?
J.J. Hardy had to be traded to make room for Alcides Escobar, but was Carlos Gomez enough in return? Hardy has some power in his bat, he has hit a total of 75 homers in just over 500 career games. His average hit a career low last season, he was hovering around the Mendoza line all year, but Gomez doesn’t give you much of anything offensively. He is only a career .246 hitter and 12 career home-runs in over 1000 at-bats. Gomez is a nice defensive center-fielder, but with the pitching problems that the Brewers have had, maybe a player with more offensive abilities would be a better match in center-field. Mike Cameron has a $10-million dollar option that they can pick up, I think that they should still pick that up to give Gomez another year of maturing before giving him the job permanently.
I have owned both J.J. Hardy and Carlos Gomez in fantasy baseball leagues over the last two seasons. Hardy is a much better player, but he had a bad year last season. Gomez hasn’t showed that he has the ability to hit for average in the Majors. He has speed, but if he can’t get on base, it doesn’t help the team much.
Who won in this trade? An instant judgment would be that the Twins were the winners in this deal. They can let Orlando Cabrera walk and Nick Punto will be a nice platoon player for them. With all the hitters on the Twins, Hardy will be protected and he should have a very nice season for Minnesota.
Carlos Gomez has the tools to be a lead-off hitter, but with his low batting average and his horrible strikeout-to-walk ratio, he is more likely to be projected as a #9 hitter or pinch-runner.
Time will tell who is the winner, but the Twins have a way to get the most out of their players. J.J. Hardy landed in the perfect place, but I’m not sure if Carlos Gomez can do much to help out the Brewers.