COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- We're still a while from baseball free agency, and the winter meetings are still to come. That means that baseball's "silly season" is not anywhere near started yet.
Not even 48 hours removed from the World Series, the Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins made a move Friday to solidify their rosters, while also ridding themselves of young players who had been disappointments, despite a world of talent.
For Milwaukee, it was time to deal shortstop J.J. Hardy. He had a terrible season with the Brewers, eventually earning himself a trip to the minors. After he failed to fix his swing in Nashville, he lashed out at the Brewers for sending him there and spoiling his chance to attain free agency after the 2010 season.
(He could have been a free agent had he not stayed in the minors more than 20 days. Now, he has to wait until 2011 before he's accrued enough service time.)
Given the rise of Alcides Escobar, the Brewers' new shortstop, Hardy was expendable. Friday, he was dealt to the Twins for center fielder Carlos Gomez.
There was no doubt that expensive veteran Mike Cameron was not going to stay in the Brewers' plans forever. He hit for power and played very good defense, but wasn't really worth $10 million or more. Gomez might not be the answer, but it's apparent that he'll get a chance to be.
Hardy, meanwhile, is likely to take over as the starting shortstop in Minnesota, assuming they don't try to heave him over to third and re-sign Orlando Cabrera.
Both guys received much fan support during their time with their old teams. Hardy also made it clear that he harbors no ill will toward the Brewers, though I'm sure he'd love to stick it to them during interleague play.