With our recent rant about how useless Yuniesky Betancourt has proved to be so far this season, I decided to retrace our steps to our current situation at Shortstop and really with the legend that is Tony Plush. When the Brewers decided to trade Hardy, he was on a career low slope, hitting for a slash line of .229/.302/.357. With a huge power loss and production falling Hardy was forced out the door by the organization’s top prospect Alcides Escobar.
Escobar at this point was being praised at this point by most scouts as a gold glover with a bat that could develop into something that at least would not kill a lineup. So the organization dumped Hardy, and interest was low for a former All-Star Gold Glove caliber offensive threat that was JJ Hardy. The Brewers big search for pitching failed (although rumor has it they could have had some swell prospects) and they ended up with Carlos Gomez.
Gomez to this point as a Brewer has been a big disappointment, with only the advertised glove holding true and a centerfielder that was all but abandoned by two other organizations succeeding in his place. The Brewers have a stock pile full of OF prospects in their minor league systems (not all are ready for the majors) and Gomez is only being used in late inning situation with only one start so far this month, but the big hole is at the position that had so much depth it allowed the organization to trade what was once an important part of the lineup.
Currently Betancourt is a cancer in the Brewers lineup, killing most run producing innings, leaving a staggering 29 on-base in his last 6 games played (covering the three last series that the Brewers have lost). Hardy meanwhile has yet to hit Free Agency, and is playing like he means it hitting .301/.366/.530 compared to Betancourt’s .233/.255/.341. Gomez has been replaced in the lineup twice and both times by players who were with the organization to start a season, proving of no value. You may argue that Escobar may have been more valuable without the failure that was his first major league season.
The Brewers have received no gain after the trade that sent JJ Hardy away, and right now he would fill the only hole in the lineup that is keeping the Brewers from being successful. Not even two years later, the Brewers are rumored to be thinking about bringing Hardy back at a much higher price tag and losing him in Free Agency. I could think of one thousand other things I would have traded JJ Hardy for and most of them can be found in my trash can.