J.J. Hardy, 2008 NL Gold Glove shortstop and twice a hitter of 20-plus home runs, comes to the Twins in return for Carlos Gomez.
Initial reactions, to be updated later:
Hooray: That Orlando Cabrera's subpar defense won't be back;
Boo: 1) At this point, Hardy is likely to be the No. 2 hitter, and his on-base percentages, even in his good seasons, doesn't really fit there.
2) Ron Gardenhire wanted to cement Denard Span into an outfield slot. Now he's got it: Center. I think Span is a better fit in left. Defensively, an outfield of Span-Gomez-Michael Cuddyer is a lot better than one of Delmon Young-Span-Cuddyer. But now that the Twins won't play most of their games on artifical turf, that may not matter as much.
There are (lifting a thought I have in my current draft of the Monday column) three priorities to the Twins offseason:
° re-sign Joe Mauer;
° revamp the infield;
° stabilize the rotation.
This is step one of the second priority. And it's a good one.