What the Brewers Could’ve Gotten for Hardy

When we ran a poll asking what you thought about the J.J. Hardy-for-Carlos Gomez trade, most of you said that you didn’t like the deal because Hardy should have brought more in return, or at least a starting pitcher for next season. For the past week or so, we’ve heard rumors that Hardy could’ve netted Aaron Harang or Matt Capps if the Brewers were willing to trade within the division. Thanks to Fox Sports (with a hat tip to Tom Haudricourt), we now have an idea of what actually happened in the negotiations with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

According to reports, the Bucs first offered slugging catcher Ryan Doumit. With a wealth of catching in the minors and Jonathan Lucroy tearing up the Arizona Fall League, it appears Melvin wasn’t interested in Doumit, who has shown tremendous offensive potential from the catcher position but is less than adequate defensively. Pittsburgh also tried to sell Melvin on a Hardy-for-Matt Capps swap, but evidently didn’t want to trade the shortstop inside the division for a relief pitcher — a good move if you ask me, especially with Trevor Hoffman coming back next year and Capps struggling mightily last season.

Those of us who criticized Melvin for not getting pitching in return for Hardy can probably rest easier now, though, after hearing Melvin’s counter offer was Hardy for either Zach Duke or Paul Maholm — the type of pitcher many thought Hardy would bring back. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh didn’t budge. Too bad they finally have someone competent in the front office, because either player would have been a great get for Melvin and the Brewers. Where art thou, Dave Littlefield?

In the end, Melvin turned to a cheap, controllable centerfielder, and wound up with Carlos Gomez. It’s kind of like getting that pink participation ribbon when your little league team finishes next-to-last. It’s not what you were hoping for when you started, but at least it’s something.

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