- I first want to touch on the move that took place two days after the World Series ended. The Twins and Brewers swapped CF Carlos Gomez for SS J.J. Hardy. Personally I think this move is great for both sides, as the Brewers needed a new centerfielder after they decided to let Mike Cameron go and it was clear that Gomez wanted more playing time after the four outfielder log jam the Twins had this past season left Gomez on the bench more often then not. Now he will get to play everyday in Miller Park and personally i think more playing time was what he needed to make him a better hitter so he could be learning everyday. The Twins getting Hardy in return fills a hole that is left by Orlando Cabrera, who filled in admirably after being acquired at the July 31st trade deadline. Hardy had a down season hitting .229 with 11 HR and 43 RBI in just 115 games. It became clear the Brewers and Hardy would part ways when he was sent down to AAA to make room for stud prospect SS Alciedes Escobar. In the two season prior to '09 Hardy averaged .280 with 25 HR and 77 RBI and averaged a on base precantage of .333. Not great average and on base numbers, but he would be the most solid option at shortstop since Cristian Guzman left after the '04 season. And now that there won't be a logjam in the outfield for playing time the Twins are putting their faith in the fact that Delmon Young will live up to his potential. If he fails to improve in 2010 look for the Twins to move him and acquire another left fielder.
- Secondly, I have been following the Winter meetings this past week with great attention and the Twins have been linked to trying to acquire 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff from San Diego. The Twins have reportedly offered Glen Perkins in exchange, but the Padres want more and the Twins will not offer more. Personally I thought the Twins weren't looking for a longer term guy at third to acquire this offseason with star prospect Danny Valencia waiting in the wings. So that made me wonder if he is actually ready for the big leagues. All reports say he needs at least to have another half season at AAA before attempting to give him the hot corner job and it looked like the Twins would bring in a temporary fill in just for 2010 to man third. Joe Crede has expressed interest in returning but it won't be until January at least that teams begin to check his rehabbing from back surgery. Maybe they know something about Valencia we don't know. As for Kouzmanoff i think he is a decent offensive third baseman with decent defensive skills who could be a good factor in the lineup for the next few years as he enters his prime years. It is a cause for concern to see that his average (.275, .260, .255), slugging percentage (.457, .433, .420), and OPS (.786, .732, .722) have decreased over the last three seasons. The only stat he has increased is hir RBI totals going from 74 to 84 to 88 in three seasons. It will be interesting to see how the Twins play this one out.
- My final point will be to say that even though its snowing, Target Field looks better than ever with just 124 days remaining until the stadium opens. Last week the final seat was installed and the cover was put over the field for the winter. Cant wait to see how it looks on Opening Day!