Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I want this guy to play SS for the Twins next year

Tell me this guy wouldn't end up in a ton of commercials for the Twins.

As I've mentioned more than a few times, I think J.J. Hardy is the most logical SS option for the Twins next season. Unlike some other options; he's young (25), talented, has power, is right-handed, and isn't named Punto.

One of the least-attractive rumored options is Orlando Cabrera. Aaron Gleeman did the work I was going to do in a post, but let's just say I don't think it is worth 3-years and $30 million to sign a 33-year old SS that was statistically worse than Nick Punto this season. Seriously, Punto is 3 years younger and had a better batting average, on-base AND slugging percentages, and a better revised zone rating than Cabrera.

Here's why Hardy would be an awesome addition--the list of Twins regulars with a better SLG than Hardy is as follows: Justin Morneau.

Twins regulars with a higher OPS: Morneau and Mauer.

Did I mention he's right handed and plays solid defense at a premium defensive position? And he's under team control (from what I can tell) for the next three seasons, albeit in the starting-to-get-expensive arbitration years.

What I can't figure out is what the Brewers will want in return. The rumors are that he's available since the Crew thinks Alcides Escobar is ready to take over at SS. But Hardy's bat and glove fits at 3B and 2B, so maybe they will move him to one of those positions to take over for Ricky Weeks or whoever is scheduled for 3B (Counsell, Hall, or Mat Gamel?).

With Sheets and Sabathia presumably leaving via free agency, I have to think Milwaukee would be interested in pitching. Another opening could be CF, but the corner OF spots are filled by Braun and Hart.

Would a Perkins + (minor league pitching) or Blackburn+ package be enough? What about Gomez and Span, could they have enough value? The Brewers system had a ton of solid hitters, so maybe expand a trade and get more minor league pitchers involved for some of Milwaukee's hitters?

I really have no clue what Milwaukee would want in return, but Hardy is a great fit for the Twins. Stick Harris and Buscher at 3B, call the infield done for 2009, and move on to the bullpen.