Twins GM Bill Smith on Friday's trade
I thought I would pass along some thoughts from Twins GM Bill Smith about Friday’s trade. Thanks to our great Twins reporter Kelly Thesier for passing them along, even if she’s a Michigan State girl:
“There are some risks on our end to trade Gomez because he’s got some great raw skills. He’s still learning to play the game. There is some risk there but we felt it was worthwhile to get a regular, high-quality shortstop like J.J. Hardy that we are going to have for a number of years.
“We’re all on board that this guy is a good acquisition for us. It was a good fit. We had one too many outfielders and they had one too many infielders so it’s a good fit.”
Was he happy to address two offseason issues with one deal?
“I know we put Gardy [Twins manager Ron Gardenhire] in a tough spot this year and all the players. It’s tough when you have five guys who need to play everyday and you can play only four of them including the DH. I tip my cap to Carlos Gomez because when Gardy went to him, I know Gardy tried to get everybody in and keep everybody playing.
“Finally he had to say, ‘I’m going to go with a more set lineup.’ That put Carlos on the bench and he took to it. He said if it makes us better, if you need me for defense, I’ll be ready for defense. One time I know he compared himself to Joe Nathan saying, ‘When I come in a game, I’m like a closer.’ I tip my cap to Carlos because he always has been team-first and I talked to him this morning. I told him he’s going to get a chance to play every day. For that he was happy but he was sad, he said I’ve got a lot of good friends in Minnesota. But this was an opportunity for us to take something where we have some depth and fill a hole.”
How much did it affect J.J.’s value that he had the extra year before free agency?
“To give up Calros Gomez, where we are going to give up four years of control, it’s important to get somebody that we are going to have for more than a year. It’s a positive for us to have J.J. Hardy and the ability to keep him for a couple years. We’ll see what happens. We might keep him for a lot longer than that.”
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