Hayden Goethe, Published November 08 2009
Goethe: Like him or not, Twins GM keeps activeIf there’s one thing we’ve learned about Minnesota Twins general manager Bill Smith, it’s that he’s not trigger-shy.
Smith has shown that in his two years on the job. Among the moves he has orchestrated:
Trading Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Johan Santana to the New York Mets for four prospects, including outfielder Carlos Gomez.
Trading pitcher Matt Garza and shortstop Jason Bartlett to the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Delmon Young.
Signing first baseman Justin Morneau and outfielder Michael Cuddyer to contract extensions in 2007.
Orchestrating a number of moves during last season, including the acquisitions of shortstop Orlando Cabrera and pitchers Jon Rauch and Carl Pavano.
And on Friday, trading Gomez to the Milwaukee Brewers for shortstop J.J. Hardy, just two days after the World Series had been completed.
The result? Most would agree that the trades with the Rays and Mets have not panned out the way the Twins have hoped.
But the Twins got a pretty good deal with Morneau’s extension. And the additions of Cabrera and Pavano helped spark the Twins to an AL Central division title this past season.
In Hardy, the Twins have added a shortstop who hit 50 homers between 2007-08. It’s safe to say that no middle infielder currently on the Twins roster has that ability.
However, the slick-fielding Hardy hit a paltry .229 this past season, leaving many scouts in baseball scratching their heads about his sudden drop in offensive production.
Like most general managers, Smith has won some and lost some. Clearly, the potential for a power-hitting infielder in Hardy was too good for him to pass up this time around.
Readers can reach Forum Assistant Sports Editor
Hayden Goethe at (701) 241-5558