When the Twins and Brewers swapped Carlos Gomez and J.J. Hardy in the off-season, Minnesota GM Bill Smith and Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin were looking to improve their squads.

As both teams crank up the second half of the season they find themselves in third place of their repsective divisions. Both players have spent time on the DL this season; Gomez for a strained rotator cuff and Hardy for a wrist injury. They also share the same number on their jersey, but the similarities end there.

So who’s gotten the better end of this deal?

Here’s my attempt to rate the performance of both players and the impact they’ve had on their team. I realize it’s a little like comparing apples to oranges, outfielders to infielders, or sports cars to sedans, but I’ll give a shot anyway. 

Let’s start with J.J. Hardy:

Hardy, currently batting .241, below his career average of .260. He has picked it up lately, batting .321 over the last past 10 games.

Like the Twins, he started the season displaying some power, hitting two home runs in in the first series of the season against the Angels. His last home run came on April 23rd against the Royals.

He is well behind his career average of 20 home runs for a 162 game season.

He has played in only 48 of the team’s 91 games this season. If he played every remaining game this year, he would only exceed his five-year career average of 114 by five games.

The Twins were hoping that a change of scenery would help Hardy to rebound from a down season in 2009. In 2010 his average is up, but not much else.  

With less than half the season remaining there’s no way Hardy can match his career averages of 29 doubles, 20 home runs, and 74 RBI. 

After 91 games in 2009 the Twins found themselves at 47-44, third place in the AL Central.

2010 they are only a game better at 48-43, still third in the division, two and half games behind the first-place White Sox.

Now looking at Gomez:

Gomez is batting .239, just below his career average of .245. Like Hardy he has done well over the last 10 games batting .267.

He has two more home runs than Hardy in 30 more at-bats. With five home runs going into the second half of the season he is sure to exceed his career high of seven set in 2009.

With eight doubles, two triples and 20 RBI, his numbers projected over the full season would match up well with his career averages.

Known for his speed, Gomez has stolen 10 bases this season. If he continues to swipe them at his current pace he should reach 20, which would be his second highest season total in his short career.   

For the Brewers, after 92 games in 2009 they were 47-45 in the NL Central, three games behind and in third place.

For 2010, they have dropped five games from 2009, currently at 42-50, again in third place, but nine games out of first, behind the Reds and Cardinals.

Based on the performances of each player the edge has to go to Gomez, who will perform closer to his average than Hardy. 

If you base it on the records of the Twins and Brewers, than Hardy might have the edge since the Twins are one game better and the Brewers five games worse.

The tie-breaker could in their salaries and the expectations of the management and fans for each club.

At $1.1 million, Gomez seems to be a steal compared to Hardy’s $5.1 salary.

At this point I give the edge to to “Go-Go” Gomez.


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