Saturday, November 7, 2009


I wish I were disappointed at the news that the Twins traded outfielder Carlos Gomez to the Brewers for shortstop JJ Hardy. Instead, I immediately thought, "This might mean they'll keep Delmon Young." That's a fitting follow-up to, "At least they got more for Garza than Johan."

Many Twins followers had wanted the outfielder to spend the season in AAA. I do not recall arguing a strong position for or against the option, but in hindsight, it clearly was the right thing to do. A dime-a-dozen Jason Tyner type could have done as much for the Twins in 2009 as Gomez and regular at bats and focused coaching in Rochester may have helped to transform Gomez from the bad halves of Pedro Cerrano and Willie Mays Hays to their respective good sides. The move ultimately doesn't mean a whole lot, and still fails to address the top priority for the Twins this offseason.

The article in the Star and Tribune includes a disappointing, albeit unsurprising, description of offseason plans for the Twins. "Smith didn’t rule out pursuing a second or third baseman but noted manager Ron Gardenhire’s preference to have Nick Punto in the lineup." I'm going to take the positive interpretation of this. Smith has realized that if Punto is on the roster, Gardy will play him. If Smith realizes this, that means he knows how simple it is to solve the Punto problem. Get rid of him. Even if this befuddles Gardy so badly when he's filling out the lineup card that they end up with Matt Tolbert in centerfield, no DH, and Kevin Slowey batting fifth, it's worth it.

When I broke the news of the trade to my 86-year-old neighbor, he said it best. "They already have a shortstop who can hit .225." At least this one won't try to score from second on a grounder to short.

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