According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (click here to view the post), the Milwaukee Brewers have traded J.J. Hardy to the Minnesota Twins for Carlos Gomez.
The move is surprising, in the sense that it was heavily thought that the Brewers would move Hardy in exchange for pitching, which it desperately needs. Centerfield, however, was another void considering Mike Cameron is a free agent.
Gomez has not yet developed into the offensive weapon many projected him to be coming up through the Mets minor league system (remember, he was one of the main pieces in the deal that sent Johan Santana to New York). He has a long way to go, often looking overmatched at the plate. He has posted a career strikeout rate of 23.7%, a career walk rate of 5.1% and has little power to speak of.
Maybe a change of scenery will help him develop more plate discipline, but without that there is little hope of him becoming a viable fantasy option. If he could develop into a player that gets on base significantly more, he could form a lethal 1-2 punch atop the Brewers line-up with Alcides Escobar, who has now clearly been named the everyday shortstop.
Escobar may actually be the biggest winner of the deal and is now a must own option in all formats. In our Dynasty Rankings posted this morning (click here to view), Escobar was ranked #8, a ranking that could improve slightly. He is certain to move up draft boards in yearly formats as well, and rightfully so. He has the potential to be a 30-35 stolen base option (though the Brewers are a team notorious for not running) and score a ton of runs hitting in front of Ryan Braun & Prince Fielder.
The stolen bases are a slight concern, but I just do not believe you harness a player with that type of talent.
As for Hardy, he gets an opportunity to reestablish his value after losing his job in 2009. After hitting 50 HR between 2007 & 2008, Hardy saw his HR/FB rate dip to 8.3% (almost 6 points lower than his 2008 mark). He also saw his strikeouts rise to 20.5%, a mark significantly worse than his 15.8% career rate. Toss in a BABIP of .264 and you can tell that there really is nowhere for him to go but up in 2010.
He seems like a great addition to the Twins line-up, joining Joe Mauer, Michael Cuddyer & Justin Morneau. We’ll have to see how the line-up is worked, but I would certainly consider Hardy a low-end usable option in all formats at this point. There is no reason to think that he is not going to bounce back in a big way.
What are your thoughts on the deal? Who is the big winner? Does it make sense for the Brewers?
Previous Fantasy Impacts of Recent Transactions:
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