J.J. Hardy back to the Brewers?
The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is slowly approaching (July 31st) and the Milwaukee Brewers are in position to buy.
Over the past several years the Brewers have tapped the prospect cupboard to acquire impact players such as CC Sabathia, Zack Greinke, and Shaun Marcum. Talented players such as Matt LaPorta, Will Inman, Lorenzo Cain and Brett Lawrie have been shipped out in order for the Brewers to position themselves as contenders.
Brewers General Manager, Doug Melvin told me last week that the team has an eye on potential bullpen assistance as the trade deadline nears, but might they be looking to improve their infield as well?
NY Mets SS Jose Reyes is expected to be the biggest impact player available, but will come at a steep price. The 28 year old Reyes is having a career year hitting .349 with 21 doubles and 15 triples atop the Mets batting order. But, as a top 5 free agent in the off-season, do the Brewers have enough to land his services in a trade? If so, do they want to empty an already scattered cupboard?
There is a chance Reyes would sign a multi-year deal with the Brewers if Prince Fielder were to leave Milwaukee, but it is certainly not a guarantee. Thus the risk/reward with trade deadline deals.
But the Brewers hopes of improving their infield doesn't begin and end with Reyes. There is another 28 year old SS having a career year who the Brewers may look at - and he already knows where the bathrooms are.
Former Brewers SS J.J. Hardy has been outstanding for the Baltimore Orioles this season hitting .303 with 11 HR's and 30 RBI. In June, Hardy has been red-hot hitting .370 with 9 HR's and 18 RBI - but can he keep it up? That's the million dollar question. Actually, that's the $5.85 million dollar question. The $5.85 million dollar figure represents Hardy's 2011 salary, or, about half of what Reyes earns.
The Brewers would easily be able to pick up the remainder of Hardy's contract for this season, and would not have to dip deep into the prospect pool to land his services in a trade. Hardy is a better defensive player than Reyes, and would be an upgrade to their current SS situation.