The first trade of the young offseason involving multiple players with fantasy baseball relevance went down today. J.J. Hardy was dealt to the Minnesota Twins straight up in exchange for speed demon outfielder Carlos Gomez.
Now, forgive both teams if you wouldn’t have made this deal in your own
. Both teams examined their current rosters heading into next season and needed to get younger.
The Brewers don’t seem interested in resigning free agent 20/20 performer Mike Cameron, and the Twins likely weren’t interested in bringing back the 83-year old shortstop they threw out there last season, named Orlando Cabrera. Both guys are old and likely would be expensive. So Hardy gets shipped to the Twinkies and Gomez goes to the Brew Crew.
Both of these guys were starters with their former teams, and both should start in their new homes. Hardy played in only 115 games last season and performed below his recent career norms, producing a 5×5 line of a .229 average, 11 homeruns, 47 RBI, 53 runs and no steals. Hardy’s never had much speed, but he normally produces double the homeruns. His power from the shortstop slot typically makes him ownable in every format of fantasy baseball as a starting middle infielder or backup shortstop.
If Hardy can play in 140 or more games next season, he should produce at least 20 homers and return his fantasy value closer to his 2007/08 value as a low-end mixed league option.
Carlos Gomez is a center fielder who was once one of the center pieces of the Johan Santana trade to the Mets before the 2008 season. He stole 33 bases in his first full big league season, but he only hit 7 homeruns with an average in the .250′s and 142 strikeouts. Last season he spent some time on the DL and produced a 5×5 line of .229/3/28/51/14. Our best guess is that, if healthy, he runs more next season for the Brewers and hopefully improves his average. The only way Gomez has fantasy value is as a base runner, so we don’t recommend starting him any more frequently than you have to.