The Orlando Cabrera era in Minnesota is likely over. According to Tyler Barnes of brewers.com’s Twitter, the Twins have traded Carlos Gomez to Milwaukee for JJ Hardy. Gomez had just a .277 wOBA while Hardy had a .292 mark. However, Hardy is at .325 for his career, making him pretty close to average, while Gomez is much worse. Gomez’s peripherals have gotten better every year of his career (better bb/k, better O-Swing), and he is a stud in centerfield. In 2008 he was the best centerfielder in baseball.
However, he seems to have fallen out of favor with Ron Gardenhire with the emergence of Denard Span and for some reason the need to play Delmon Young in left field. Hardy, meanwhile, got sent down to AAA to avoid accumulating more service time. However, Hardy was the 3rd best player from 2007-09 in UZR, making him an extremely valuable commodity.
On the surface, this seems like a rearrangement. The Twins are plugging a hole at shortstop and creating one in the outfield. The Twins outfield had UZR/150′s of epically bad proportions last year (shown here at the position they’ll fill next year)
Delmon Young: -25.6
Denard Span: -3.3
Michael Cuddyer: -22.1
Yeah, I can’t wait to go to war with that outfield. With Kevin Slowey, Scott Baker, Glen Perkins and Francisco Liriano all being fly ball pitchers expect to see Twins outfielders not getting to a lot of balls next season. Hardy was definitely the right guy to go get, as he and Punto will be probably the best defensive up the middle combo in baseball next year, but I don’t think they gave up the right guy to get him.