Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Top 7 Twins Prospects

The Twins are known for building their team around players from their farm system. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Torii Hunter, and many more were drafted by the Twins. So let's take a look at the top 7 Twins prospects to see who to look forward to in the future. Why 7 and not 10 like most people do? Because it has been 7 years since the Twins have made it to the American League Championship Series in the playoffs. The last time they made it was in 2002 when they lost to the Angels. Hopefully this is a good luck charm.

1. Aaron Hicks, OF, Low A
DOB: October 1989 Bats: S Throws: R
MLB ETA: September 2012

Aaron Hicks was drafted by the Twins in 2008 in the first round of the first-year player draft. He has some phenomenal talent, as he showed this year in the minors. In the 2009 season, he had a .251/.353/.382 line (Batting Average/On Base Percentage/Slugging Percentage) in 251 AB's for the Beloit Snappers. The best part is he had a 40 to 55 BB/SO Ratio. He also has an above average arm in the outfield, which is a plus. He is only 20 years old so he has a lot of time to improve. Expect him to get a September call-up by 2012.

2. Wilson Ramos, C, Double-A
DOB: August 1987 Bats: R Throws: R
MLB ETA: September 2010

Ramos is the best catching prospect the Twins have. The problem is with Joe Mauer blocking his spot, he will probably have to settle for backup role as long as he is here. The good news is, if Mauer moves to a different position later in his career, Ramos will be able to take the starting role. Ramos is an elite catching prospect as he showed in 2009 with his line of .317/.341/.454 in 205 AB's. He is also is very good at throwing out runners. Expect him to get a September call-up next year.

3. Miguel Jean (Sano), SS, (International free agent signing)
DOB: May 1993 Bats: R Throws: R
MLB ETA: September 2014

Miguel Jean (Sano) was the best international free agent on the market this year at the international signing period. He has already gotten comparisons to Hanley Ramirez and A-Rod. It is always a good thing when you are compared to two of the best players in baseball right now. He is third on my list on pure speculation, as he has yet to play in the minors. Though after this year, he could very well be the top Twins prospect. He is a long ways away as he is only 16 years old. Expect him to be in the September call-ups in either 2014 or 2015.

4. Ben Revere, OF, High-A
DOB: May 1988 Bats: S Throws: R
MLB ETA: September 2011

Do you like speed? Do you like OBP? Do you like high batting average outfielders? If so, this guy is for you. Revere is only 5'9" (which is very small). The problem he has is he doesn't have much power, but that is the only bad thing about this guy. Revere had a .311/.372/.369 line last year for the Fort Myers Miracle. But that isn't the best part. Not only did he have a 40 to 34 BB/SO ratio, but he also had 45 stolen bases. Don't expect him to be playing this year for the Twins because of their crowded outfield. He should get a chance though in the majors by the the time call-ups happen in September of 2011.

5. Danny Valencia, 3B, Triple-A
DOB: September 1984 Bats: R Throws: R
MLB ETA: Beginning of 2010

Danny Valencia is by far the best 3rd base prospect the Twins have. He had a .284/.373/.482 line in 218 AB's in double-A before getting promoted to triple-A, where he batted a .286/.305/.454 line in triple-A in 269 AB's. He has shown signs of power, hitting 14 home runs between the two teams. His problem is when he moved up to triple-A, his BB/SO ratio plummeted. His BB/SO ratio was just 8 to 37, which is terrible plate discipline. This is a bad thing as this happened after he moved up from double-A, where he had great plate discipline. If he cannot get his walks up in Spring Training, he might not make it on the major league roster this year. I do expect his BB to go up enough though for him to get the starting third-base job in 2010.

6. Kyle Gibson, RHP, Just Drafted, will probably start in A ball
DOB: October 1987 Bats: R Throws: R
MLB ETA: September 2010

The Twins drafted Gibson with their first round draft pick last year. Gibson was expected to be a top 5 draft pick, but an injury before the draft scared teams away (Hopefully Adrian Peterson all over again). This guy has phenomenal talent, and could very well be one of the top three pitchers in the Twins rotation as early as 2011. He is probably going to start in A-ball next year, though he will move up the chain extremely fast. He should be able to get a September call-up this year.

7. David Bromberg, RHP, High-A
DOB: September 1987 Bats: L Throws: R
MLB ETA: Middle of 2011

Bromberg was the Twins pitcher of the year last year, and he certainly deserved it. He had a 2.70 ERA for the Fort Myers Miracle while going 13-4. His SO/BB ratio was 148 to 63, which is great. He also left batters to just a .224 batting average last year. He probably wont get a chance this year in the majors, as he is only in High-A, but expect him to maybe get promoted to the majors in the middle of 2011.

Prospects 8-14 (A little added bonus):

8. Angel Morales OF
9. Deolis Guerra RHP
10. Carlos Gutierrez RHP
11. Tyler Robertson LHP
12. Chris Parmelee OF/1B
13. Joe Benson OF
14. Jeff Manship RHP

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Twins Projected Starting Rotation for 2010

What are you doing for Christmas? If you are staying in Minnesota, you might be doing something involving snow, like shoveling it. As you have probably heard, the Twin Cities expects to get as much as 12 inches of snow in the next 2 days. This is supposed to be the most snow on Christmas around here in a long time.

I wrote an article a couple weeks ago on the lineup for next year. Now it's time to talk about the starting rotation.

Now that the Twins have resigned Carl Pavano, the starting rotation is starting to look a little better. The Twins are also going to be getting back Kevin Slowey and Glen Perkins who both sustained injuries in 2009. At the moment, here is my projected starting rotation for opening day next April:

Nick Blackburn RHP

Scott Baker RHP

Kevin Slowey RHP

Carl Pavano RHP

Competing for 5th spot in the rotation:

Glen Perkins LHP

Brian Duensing LHP

Fransisco Liriano LHP

The first four pitchers seem to be locks in the starting rotation. The problem lies in the 5th spot. Glen Perkins had Left Shoulder Tendinitis last August. Hopefully he recovers though and can be at his full potential next year. The problem is there are two other pitchers who are fighting for that 5th spot: Brian Duensing and Fransisco Liriano. Duensing pitched great at the end of last year, which is why he might end up getting the spot next year. Liriano on the other hand went to the bullpen at the end of last year due to his terrible starts. Liriano might come back and be a dominant pitcher though, which is why he is always an option for the rotation. Anthony Swarzak would be an option for the fifth spot, but he is right-handed. The first four pitchers are all right-handed, which is why the 5th pitcher pretty much needs to be left-handed. It isn't a good thing to have an all right-handed rotation. The other three pitchers for that 5th spot are all left-handed.

One thing the Twins could do is sign a veteran left-hander. An article I wrote a few weeks ago suggested that Erik Bedard could be a left-handed option. He is someone who is a top starting pitcher when healthy, though he has been prone to injuries. He is probably the best option though if the Twins don't want to go internally.

If the Twins look internally, they will probably pick between the three left-handed pitchers: Perkins, Duensing, and Liriano. I am going to compare the three pitchers and see which might be the best option.

These stats are from the 2009 season.








































Looking at the three pitchers, Duensing by far looks to be the best of the three. Not only is his ERA over 2 points less than Perkins and Liriano, but his WHIP is also less. WHIP mean walks and hits per innings pitched. That stat is a great way of looking to see how many batters are getting on base per inning. Why do you want to know how many batters are getting on base? Because it shows how often the pitcher is getting into trouble in an inning. The last thing you want is batters to always be on base, which not only raises the amount of runs coming in, but also starts to tire out the defense.

So for now, I have to put Duensing as the 5th starting pitcher. That may of course change though. Like if the Twins sign Bedard, or if one of the other two have an amazing Spring Training.

In conclusion, my projected starting rotation is:

Nick Blackburn RHP

Scott Baker RHP

Kevin Slowey RHP

Carl Pavano RHP

Brian Duensing LHP

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Twins Projected Starting Lineup for 2010

The Twins are known for filling holes in their lineup internally. Hopefully though they go out of their own farm system this year to fill a couple glaring holes .

At the moment, here is my projected starting lineup for 2010:

1. Denard Span: CF
2. J.J. Hardy: SS
3. Joe Mauer: C
4. Justin Morneau: 1st
5. Michael Cuddyer: RF
6. Jason Kubel: DH
7. Delmon Young: LF
8. Brendon Harris: 3rd
9. Nick Punto: 2nd

This lineup looks pretty good. The only question marks are the 8 and 9 spots in the lineup. Let's first take a look at Brendon Harris's stats in 2009:

123 Games
414 At Bats
44 Runs
22 Doubles
6 Home Runs
37 RBI's
29 BB
.261 BA
.310 OBP
.362 SLG
.672 OBS

I honestly don't think that is very good. Harris had over 414 AB's. He had only 6 Home Runs and 37 RBI's. That is way too low for a third baseman. The Twins really need to be looking at more production from a third baseman. In a previous article, I stated the Twins should get a free agent bat at third, and I am holding by that. I still think the Twins should get either Adrian Beltre or Troy Glaus, both of which are great players. Not only do both of those players have power, but they also have great defense.

Now for second base. Nick Punto is an interesting player. A lot of fans hate his lack of production. Let's take a look at his stats in 2009 though and see if the fans are correct:

125 Games
359 At Bats
56 Runs
15 Doubles
1 Home Runs
38 RBI's
61 BB
.228 BA
.337 OBP
.284 SLG
.621 OBS

+2.7 UZR (at 2nd base)

Looking at the stats I can't blame the fans. His power is terrible, and his .228 Batting Average doesn't help the cause. Finally, his defense, which is hyped up as being amazing, is actually below average according to his UZR. (UZR is how many runs he gave up compared to the average second baseman. +2.7 means that Punto gave up 2.7 more runs than the average 2nd baseman.)

I can't see why Punto is getting paid $4 mil a year for what he does.

The verdict: Punto probably shouldn't be the starting second baseman. He is a perfect super utility infielder though. Gardenhire loves Punto's chemistry on the team, so he definitely shouldn't leave. His stats don't warrant him to be the starting second baseman.

What are the options though other than Punto? Let's take a look at a few options:

Dan Uggla:
Uggla is an option for the Twins if they wish to trade for a second baseman. He would probably cost the Twins a lot of top prospects though. It is probably worth it though, as a power hitting second baseman isn't something you can find very often.

Orlando Hudson:
Hudson had a decent year last year for the Dodgers. He is definitely an upgrade over Nick Punto. He could also probably get signed in Free Agency for a reasonable amount. Finally, Hudson wouldn't cost the Twins a draft pick as he wasn't offered arbitration.

Mark DeRosa:
He is probably the player the Twins would want the most. They have shown a lot of interest in him. He has had two consecutive 20+ home run seasons. His other stats were also decent.

Of the three players, I think the Twins would most likely go after Mark DeRosa. That is probably the best option too considering that Dan Uggla would require the Twins to trade most of their farm system.

This is my projected starting lineup if the two players I want end up coming to the Twins:

1. Denard Span: CF
2. J.J. Hardy: SS
3. Joe Mauer: C
4. Justin Morneau: 1st
5. Michael Cuddyer: RF
6. Jason Kubel: DH
7. Adrian Beltre/Troy Glaus: 3rd
8. Mark DeRosa: 2nd
9. Delmon Young: LF

If the Twins have that lineup going into 2010, they will be a force to be reckoned with.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Who is the Solution at Starting Pitcher?

Since trading Johan Santana, the Twins have been lacking something huge -- a top starter.

There are a few options in the free agent market for a top starter this year. The problem is the Twins will not spend highly for a player like Lackey or Randy Wolf, so the pitcher would either have to be someone had an off-year or got injured this year.

Let's take a look at a few of the options that are being talked about for the Twins in the free agent market, including a somewhat unusual choice.

Rich Harden (28) - Type B (Would not cost the Twins their draft pick)

Harden is a player that is amazing when healthy. But that's the thing, when he is healthy. Here is his innings pitched followed by his ERA from the last 5 years:

2005: 128 - 2.53
2006: 46.2 - 4.24
2007: 25.2 - 2.45
2008: 148 - 2.07
2009: 141 - 4.09

Look at the innings pitched. The reason his innings pitched are much lower than normal is because of injuries. It's expected each year that he will be injured with something, so you just can't expect him to come in and pitch 200 innings and carry the team. Though when healthy, he can be a dominating pitcher (see 2005, 2007, and 2008).

Harden would be a great option for the Twins who are generally willing to take a risk on a player's health, as shown by their signing or Joe Crede last year. He could probably be signed to a 1-2 year contract because of all the injuries. Maybe 2 years $14 million?

Erik Bedard (31) - Type B (Would not cost the Twins their draft pick)

Erik Bedard has the same issue as Harden. Bedard is amazing when healthy, though he just underwent shoulder surgery... Again... Bedard seems to have been very injury prone the last two years. Bedard threw only 81 innings in 2008, and 83 innings in 2009. Though before 2008, Bedard was considered much healthier.

Erik Bedard should be fairly inexpensive because of all the injuries, though he could be like winning the lottery if healthy next year. He could probably be had on a 1-2 year deal because of how injury prone he is. Maybe 2 years $14 million?

Jarrod Washburn (35) (Not a Type A or B free agent.)

Washburn was having a career year this year for Seattle. Though once he was traded to Detroit, it all seemed to go downhill. 2.64 ERA for Seattle in 20 starts, but then a 7.33 ERA for Detroit in 8 starts. To make things worse, Washburn was having knee problems toward the end of the year. The result of the knee problem was surgery.

The Twins shouldn't go anywhere near Jarrod Washburn. Before last year, his ERA was nothing special.

Ben Sheets (31) (Not a Type A or B free agent.)

Sheets hasn't been talked about a lot. It seems that people forget that this guy had a 3.09 ERA in 2008. Though he did have flexor tendon surgery and missed all of 2009. If he could be signed on a one-year deal with incentives, then he would be well worth the risk. If he does come back to form next year, then he could easily place himself toward the top of the Twins pitching staff. Maybe 1 year $4 million with up to $4 million in incentives?

Between those four pitchers, the Twins should have their top focus on Rich Harden. He has the best chance of the four to be that top pitcher for the Twins. If they cannot land Harden, they should go after ether Bedard or Sheets. They are both talented, and very injury prone, so either would be fine. They are both lottery picks though, as no one knows if they will do terrible, or great.

The Twins shouldn't even consider Washburn. Period. He is not the starter they should be looking to get. If the Twins wanted Washburn, they would of just held onto Livan Hernandez.

Who do you think should be the Twins top free agent target for starting pitcher?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Look at the Joe Mauer Contract Situation

There has been a lot of buzz around the Internet recently about the Joe Mauer contract. But what is the difference between this article and every other article on the Joe Mauer situation? Well, this article speculates that the contract negotiation is going to require a little bit of creative thinking by Ron Shapiro (Joe Mauer's agent), which will be explained later on.

The Twins need to sign Mauer to a long-term deal. The Twins would lose a lot of fans if the they were to let him walk after next year.

Joe Mauer is 26 years old. That means that this contract would be going through his prime. His numbers have already been outstanding, and with his age it doesn't look like his numbers will drop off anytime soon.

Because of this, the Twins will be looking at a hefty contract, but just how hefty?

Well let's start by looking at the Twins current payroll:

2009: $65,299,266

With all of their arbitration eligible players, the Twins will probably be on the hook for about $72 million. According to many news reports, the Twins want to raise their payroll in 2010 to a maximum of $95-100 million. Joe Mauer's contract is paying $12.5 million at the moment. If the Twins spend about $12 million on free agents this year, the payroll will reach $84 million. That should leave an additional $11 million to $16 million for Mauer's contract. Given that many sources believe that Joe Mauer could command a free agent contract on the open market of $25 million per year, the financial ability to sign Mauer to a long-term contract is there. The question is how much will be available to surround him with the talent to compete for a World Series appearance.

I think the first year of his new contract will land $26 million, and I will explain why later on. The Twins seem to have the payroll space to be able to do that this year. They would even have $3-4 million more to spend during the season on new acquisitions.

Now that the facts show there is enough money to spend on Mauer, let's look at just how much it might take.

Mauer has 3 batting titles at age 26. All three were done at catcher. Mauer is the first player to ever have 3 batting titles at catcher. Remember, he is only 26! This year he also hit 28 home runs, and drove in 96 RBIs. To top it off? He led in BA, OBP, and slugging percentage this year!

Defensively, Mauer is just as good. He just won his second consecutive Gold Glove Award this year. His range at catcher is also considered among the best in the game. Finally, when he is behind the plate, it seems like the younger pitchers feel more confident when pitching to him than any other catcher on the staff.

Joe Mauer's hometown is St. Paul, Minnesota. This means that he might be willing to accept a slight "hometown discount". This does not mean though that he would probably take anything under $20 million a year. He is probably going to want $22-23 million per year from the Twins. That is about what Mark Teixeira got per year in his new contract, and he is 3 years older. That amount would still be less than what he could get on the open market. If he stays in Minnesota though, he probably wouldn't want to take all of the Twins payroll. This being because he would probably want the Twins to be able to sign the players necessary to be able to make a World Series run.

Mauer is probably going to also want the most amount of years possible. My guess is the max the Twins would give is 6 years considering he is a catcher. The reason being is you never know if a catcher will not be able to play that position anymore because of injuries that arise from the position. If Mauer is for some reason only DHing at age 30, he would be worth considerably less per year than if he was catching.

My guess on what it will take for the Twins to resign Mauer? 6 years $132 million. Another guess is this new contract will void his current one. With the Twins voiding the current contract, it means Mauer would make that much more money. It also means it's one less year Mauer is committed to. He would only be 32 at the end of the contract, so that means he could test the free agent market at that point if he so chooses.

I also think that the Twins will try and front-load the deal. They will do this because they would not only have extra money to spend each year moving forward, but then they don't have to worry as much if Mauer for some reason can't play catcher 5 years from now as they wouldn't be committed to as much money later in his contract.

Finally, this contract may have an unusual clause designed to ensure that the hometown discount is used to surround Joe Mauer with the players needed to compete for a title. It wouldn't be surprising to see a six-year, $132 million contract where the Twins have to spend at least $100 million on payroll each year. If the Twins do not spend the required $100 million a year, then Mauer would have the right to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. I don't even know if this type of a contract would be allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement or MLB rules. But either way this is a very interesting idea that should be thought about.

Here is how I think the money would be spread out:

2010: $26 million
2011: $24 million
2012: $22 million
2013: $22 million
2014: $20 million
2015: $18 million

Now the final question is: When will Mauer resign with the Twins?

My guess: Sometime between Christmas and New Years. He is probably going to wait and see if the Twins are willing to stay competitive or not. Mauer will probably not know the answer to that until after the Winter Meetings, which is in December. If the contract is signed during that frame, it would make the holiday season that much more memorable.

What do you think it will take to resign Mauer?

Who is the Solution at 3rd Base?

Ever since Corey Koskie, it seems the Twins have never really had a third baseman who solidified the position.

The Twins are probably going to try and get someone in Free Agency.

Let's take a look at some of the free agent third baseman that are available:

Miguel Tejada (36) - Type A
Chone Figgins (32) - Type A
Adrian Beltre (31) - Type B
Mark DeRosa (35) - Type B
Troy Glaus (33) - Type B
Melvin Mora (38) - Type B
Joe Crede (32)
Pedro Feliz (35)

These are the main players that are believed to be targets. Also included are all of the other Type A and B free agents at 3rd as they could be options.

Let's look at these players one at a time:

Miguel Tejada - He is 36 years old and was accused of taking performance enhancing drugs. Sorry, he is not even someone the Twins will consider.

Chone Figgins - This is the guy that seems to be getting a lot of talk. He has everything the Twins like: speed, defense, OBP, and SB. The problem is the price. Not only would he cost us our first round draft pick (Type A Free Agent), he would also probably cost us somewhere around 5 years and 50 million. I just don't think they will spend that much unless they trade away Joe Nathan. The Twins cannot spend all of their available money on just a third baseman as they have other glaring needs (Veteran Pitcher, resigning Joe Mauer, and maybe getting a second baseman.).

Adrian Beltre - Seems like a player that the Twins were always interested in. Problem is, almost all his stats have dropped off this year. Most teams will probably think it's just a fluke though, as he still had fantastic defense (21 UZR). He is still a great defensive third baseman and if he comes back to 2008 form offensively he would be the power hitter they always wanted. Also, as a Type B Free Agent, he wouldn't cost the Twins any draft picks.

Mark DeRosa - 35 years old, and had a career year in 2008. Yes, he had more home runs in 2009, though most other stats took a dip including 35 points off his batting average. Also, he is not that great defensively (-8.7 UZR). I just don't think the Twins would go after him.

Troy Glaus - He underwent arthroscopic right shoulder surgery and barely played last year. This is the kind of player the Twins like to go after normally as he has shown big numbers throughout his career. The Twins could probably give him a 1-2 year deal with incentives so he can redeem himself. Definitely someone to look at if their top choices are taken. He also wouldn't cost them any draft picks.

Melvin Mora - 38 years old, stats dropped a good amount this year... I don't think the Twins would go anywhere near this guy.

Joe Crede - Underwent his third back surgery this year. Wrong side of 30. Continues to get injured. If all other options are gone maybe the Twins would consider him on a 1 year incentive laden deal.

Pedro Feliz - This is the most interesting player that I have been hearing about. Defensive stud (9 UZR), can hit 10+ homers a year, and has shown to be able to drive in 80+ rbi's a year. Also he probably won't cost a lot. Finally the Twins wouldn't have to give up any draft picks for him. What's the down side with him? He is 35, which means he could start a decline at any point. Just like Crede, Feliz is probably a backup option if they can't get who they want.

In conclusion, I think that the Twins should get Adrian Beltre. Not only is he a great defensive third baseman (21 UZR), but he also could be that offensive weapon they have been looking for for years at third. It might take some money to get him, but it shouldn't take as much as Chone Figgins.

If the Twins cannot get Adrian Beltre, I think the Twins second option should be Troy Glaus. He won't cost a lot as he barely played last year, and could be a huge offensive weapon. He had a 5 UZR in 2008, which is above average, and could hit 25+ home runs.

If both of those players are gone, they will probably go after either Crede or Feliz.

Who do you guys think should be the Twins top free agent target at third base?

Little birdie note: Justin Morneau and his wife were recently spotted in London, on their way to Ireland for a vacation.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ellsbury vs. Gomez

So the Santana trade was a few years back, and some people still think the Twins got fleeced on the trade. Though some people think they should have easily taken the Ellsbury package over the Gomez package.

I am going to try and break this down the best I can.

Ellsbury offensively in the last 3 years:

2007 Red Sox 33 116 20 41 7 1 3 18 59 8 15 9 0 .394 .509 .353
2008 Red Sox 145 554 98 155 22 7 9 47 218 41 80 50 11 .336 .394 .280
2009 Red Sox 153 624 94 188 27 10 8 60 259 49 74 70 12 .355 .415 .301

Gomez offensively in the last 3 years:

2007 Mets 58 125 14 29 3 0 2 12 38 8 27 12 3 .288 .304 .232
2008 Twins 153 577 79 149 24 7 7 59 208 25 142 33 11 .296 .360 .258
2009 Twins 137 315 51 72 15 5 3 28 106 22 72 14 7 .287 .337 .229

Looking at the two players, it looks like Ellsbury easily wins offensively in 2009 right?. Well, part of that though was that Gomez only got about 300 AB's. If you look as if it was 600 AB's, he actually improved from his 2008 year. Gomez's 2008 year was actually pretty close to Ellsbury's in 2008. Gomez had almost the same amount of walks in 2009 than 2008. That means that Gomez almost doubled his walks per AB in the last year. That is a huge improvement. Now note this: Gomez is two years younger than Ellsbury. That means the comparison should be between Gomez's offense in 2009 to Ellsbury's in 2007 right? Well, if you do it that way, Gomez looks like he will be much better in two years than Ellsbury was in 2009. I have to give the edge to Ellsbury for right now, but I think Gomez has a lot more talent considering he is two years younger.

Now lets look at the UZR ratings, which pretty much shows how much range they have in the outfield (how many balls they can get to):

Gomez: 11.5
Ellsbury: -16.5

That means that Ellsbury gave up 16.5 more runs than the average center fielder. Gomez on the other hand gave up 11.5 less runs than the average center fielder. That is a difference of 28 runs! That is why I easily give the defensive edge to Gomez.

So between offense and defense, I have to give the edge to Gomez, as I feel his center field defense has saved so many games that I can cut him slight slack on his offense. His offense is only going to get better according to the numbers while learning how to play defense like Ellsbury is trying to do is going to be a lot harder.

So since I gave Gomez the edge, lets look now at the Gomez for Hardy trade.

Gomez's defense is superb right? I mean his UZR rating is one of the best if not the best out of all center fielders. Well lets look at Hardy's UZR rating:

Hardy: 11 UZR over his 5 year career.

When putting into effect how much better J.J. Hardy is offensively at the moment, I have to give the edge in that trade to Minnesota. At least for the short-term. If Gomez becomes the player that I think he will be, long-term Gomez might be a much better player.

We will just have to wait and see.