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View Full Version : JJ Hardy: I WANT to be a Brewer



Brew Crew
12-07-2008, 10:20 PM
Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy had a message for general manager Doug Melvin & Co. as Milwaukee's contingent prepared to stroll the lobby of the Bellagio this week:
Please don't trade me.

"I want to be a Brewer," Hardy said from his Tempe, Ariz., home. "If something happens, then I'll deal with that, but I've always wanted to be a Brewer."

Hardy would be happy to read published comments from Melvin on Sunday indicating he wants his shortstop to stay put. But Hardy nonetheless figures to see his name in print beginning Monday, when the baseball world converges in Las Vegas for the wheeling and dealing -- and the rumor mongering -- that dominates the annual Winter Meetings.

The Brewers arrived in Vegas in something of a holding pattern, waiting for word from representatives of free-agent pitcher CC Sabathia as to whether Milwaukee's bid to retain the left-hander -- reportedly five years and $100 million -- was good enough. That answer will help dictate the rest of the offseason for a team that needs a quality starting pitcher if Sabathia moves on, plus left-handed bats and a reliever or two -- possibly a closer -- regardless of Sabathia's decision.


Melvin planned to meet with Sabathia's representatives on Monday, at which time agent Greg Genske could ask Melvin to increase the offer to six years. It's unclear whether the budget-conscious Brewers could meet that demand, and assuming Sabathia accepts the Yankees' riches or finds a suitable offer from one of his home-state teams in California, Melvin may have to consider trading some of his young hitters to fill other holes.
Enter names like Prince Fielder, Milwaukee's 24-year-old star first baseman whose salary is about to skyrocket in arbitration and could be flipped for a top pitcher. Or Hardy, 26, whose cost will bump up from the $2.65 million he earned last season because he's arbitration-eligible for the second time.

Hardy has been churned around the rumor mill already this winter, because he's still two seasons shy of free agency, because the Brewers have a prospect -- the slick-fielding Alcides Escobar -- who plays Hardy's position, and most of all because All-Star shortstops are in high demand.

Melvin has said he is not "shopping" Hardy, a sentiment he echoed in Sunday's editions of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

"I don't want to give up either one of our shortstops," Melvin told the newspaper. "That's a premium position. J.J. has two years left [before he's a free agent]. It's just too hard to find shortstops. ... If we went with Escobar, he might struggle for a year or so offensively."

Melvin is known as a straight-shooter, so it is unlikely that those comments were merely intended to boost Hardy's perceived value with other teams. Still, the Orioles, Tigers, Twins, Dodgers and Blue Jays are all in the market for a starting shortstop, and the Cardinals and perhaps the Giants were on that list before making moves last week. Others could join. The Braves, for example, have reportedly talked to the Padres about a trade for Jake Peavy that would include Atlanta shortstop Yunel Escobar. The Pirates have been in talks with several teams about veteran Jack Wilson.

"I've asked my agent about it, and he says what a lot of other people say, that the Brewers would be stupid not to at least listen to other offers," Hardy said.

Melvin said only one team had made a formal trade proposal for Hardy, but Melvin brushed it off after that club offered a "fifth-starter type."

"I have all kinds of family and friends calling me going, 'Hey, you're going to be a Twin?' Or, 'You're going to be a Brave?'" Hardy said. "My only answer to them is, 'I don't know!' It's been like that pretty much the whole winter.

"I mean, I guess any of those could make sense if teams are looking for a shortstop and they want to give up pitching. I understand that's what the Brewers are looking to do."

Some forward-thinking Brewers fans have even wondered if the Brewers might trade Hardy for a pitcher and pursue free-agent shortstop Rafael Furcal, who rejected a four-year offer from the A's on Friday. Furcal is a switch-hitter who could bat leadoff, allowing the Brewers to drop second baseman Rickie Weeks lower in the order, where he might be a better fit.

But Melvin said last week that the Brewers had not expressed interest in Furcal, and he balked at Furcal's asking price.

Hardy, even with Melvin's comments on Sunday, finds himself in the same uncertain situation that Brewers pitcher Chris Capuano and infielder Bill Hall were in last year at this time. Neither of those players was ever dealt, despite Winter Meetings rumors that they were being discussed.

Hardy has been passing the time with his usual winter workout regimen and said he had added 12 pounds of strength since season's end. Hardy typically loses weight during the baseball season.

He spent last week at Maryvale Baseball Park, where prospects are taking part in the team's Winter Development Program. Hardy and Brewers outfielder Corey Hart, both Phoenix-area residents, took part in a question-and-answer session with the younger players on Thursday, "and basically told them how lucky they were to be there," Hardy said.

Hardy hopes to be back at Maryvale in February, when players report for Spring Training.

"It's one of the harder parts of this job," he said of winter rumors. "I'm just waiting around, doing my normal offseason things. I have no idea what's happening beyond that, but I do know I want to be a Brewer."

The first line says it all. I'd rather not see Hardy traded. So hopefully they work something out with Escobar and Hardy.

BearsBullsCHWS
12-07-2008, 10:41 PM
Umm, I really want hardy and what would it take to get him? Bobby Jenks? Would appreciate any imput thanks.

EDIT: I am a white sox fan BTW in case there was any confusion.

brewersfan729
12-07-2008, 11:01 PM
Trading one of the top shortstops in the game for a closer? Umm no.

hgtiger32
12-07-2008, 11:20 PM
yeah...and jenks is way , way, WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY ...OVERRATED!!! so get out of the forumn unless you give us jenks for someone other than: Gallardo, Para, Villanueva, McClung, hardy, Escobar, Braun, Hart, Gamel, Fielder

BearsBullsCHWS
12-08-2008, 12:08 AM
Trading one of the top shortstops in the game for a closer? Umm no.

I know that, but does a major league GM? I know that sounds like a weird statement but the Brewers had their issues with the closer position last year and sometimes GMs get panicky. Plus its not like Jenks is devoid of all value just because he is a closer, he did put up very good numbers for a reliever, but you are right. He is not worth Hardy. My initial point was Jenks as a starting point to assess how valuable you guys think Hardy is on the trading market, plus you have a decent prospect SS waiting in the wings...

crewfan13
12-08-2008, 12:19 AM
From what I read on mlbtraderumors.com, it doesn't sound like the Melvin is comfortable with Escobar as the opening day shortstop next year, so it would take quite a deal to get Hardy.

brewersfan729
12-08-2008, 12:27 AM
I know that, but does a major league GM? I know that sounds like a weird statement but the Brewers had their issues with the closer position last year and sometimes GMs get panicky.

He's not going to panic and there are plenty of options on the free agent market before he even thinks about exploring a trade.

long ball
12-08-2008, 01:03 AM
He's not going to panic and there are plenty of options on the free agent market before he even thinks about exploring a trade.

Melvin actually said he won't pay big money to get a closer. I know GMs never completely reveal their intentions but I think it's hard to believe that they'll sign any prominant closer. I don't think they'll trade for one either. The Brewers are most likely looking like they'll have to swing another Kolb or Turnbow type closer.

Brooke
12-08-2008, 01:16 AM
and I want JJ to stay put

WI Sports Fan
12-08-2008, 01:39 AM
Melvin actually said he won't pay big money to get a closer. I know GMs never completely reveal their intentions but I think it's hard to believe that they'll sign any prominant closer. I don't think they'll trade for one either. The Brewers are most likely looking like they'll have to swing another Kolb or Turnbow type closer.

Well, Melvin did offer some pretty big money to Coco Cordero.

But back to Hardy. I WANT him to be a Brewer too; as our starting 3B. Hopefully J.J. and I both get what we want.

brewersfan729
12-08-2008, 01:48 AM
Melvin actually said he won't pay big money to get a closer. I know GMs never completely reveal their intentions but I think it's hard to believe that they'll sign any prominant closer. I don't think they'll trade for one either. The Brewers are most likely looking like they'll have to swing another Kolb or Turnbow type closer.

I know. So what are the chances he goes and trades a ton of prospects for a closer? I would think paying for one is more likely than trading for one and since there's probably about a 5% chance we pay for one, what are the chances that we trade for one?

Duddy415
12-08-2008, 09:35 AM
A.) Jenks is NOT overrated, hes got good stuff and you dont cant close 40+ games a year with under a 3.00 ERA and be overrated, its IMPOSSIBLE.
B.) Trading Hardy for a closer wouldnt be that crazy NEXT YEAR! but its not going to happen with two years left before he hits free agency.
C.) I wouldnt say that the brewers wont trade for a closer infact thats most likely what they will do, but with all the options out there at closer this year trading a proven everyday player for one isnt going to happen.
Predictions: The brewers will sign kerry wood when he finds out no one will give him three years, or if someone stupid(METS if they miss out on Fuentes, Rodriguez) then take a poke at Chad Cordero

4d32petersc
12-08-2008, 12:19 PM
Give JJ the option to move to 2nd or 3rd. Keep him a Brewer!

Smithy04
12-08-2008, 06:22 PM
Hardy may have to play 3B in order for Escobar to move up and take over at SS which would almost complete our youth on the whole starting field except for CF and C.

Madtown343
12-08-2008, 09:47 PM
I wish the article would have asked the question, If JJ has any issue with being a 3rd basemen? Would be interesting to know if that would bother him or not?

Silent
12-08-2008, 10:14 PM
Trading one of the top shortstops in the game for a closer? Umm no.



:laugh:

u got to be kidding me

brewersfan729
12-08-2008, 10:36 PM
:laugh:

u got to be kidding me

Name five that are better.

crewfan13
12-09-2008, 01:18 AM
I do like JJ, but i'm not sure he's top 5: rollins, reyes and hanley ramirez are better for sure. I would say guys like Jeter, Furcal could probably are better and depending on what ur team need is, (such as power, average or defensive range) others could maybe be ahead of Hardy... but still its not worth trading a very good shortstop for a closer

Jackson
12-09-2008, 01:45 AM
What about trading 1 JJ for another? Putz for Hardy. I am from Seattle so I love the Mariners, but I am also a long distance Brewers fan. I doubt this trade would have any legs but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Mariners and Brewers pull off some sort of trade with us having Jackie Z in the drivers seat. People over here talk about Fielder but Seattle doesn't have the players to make that happen. What would it take to get Brad Nelson?

brewersfan729
12-09-2008, 02:11 AM
I wouldn't trade Hardy for Putz. Nelson is probably a bench bat, likely wouldn't cost much, but why trade for him when Branyan can play first?

crewfan13
12-09-2008, 02:25 AM
I'd take Russell the muscle over Nelson at first, but after a quick glance i don't think there's anyone on the Mariners the Brewers would really want besides Felix Hernadez who's prolly untouchable. Ichiro would be a nice centerfielder but contract issues would probably hold that back, plus I'd imagine Ichiro wouldn't be too thrilled about Milwaukee. So any JJ Hardy trade probably wouldn't be to the Mariners.

Madtown343
12-09-2008, 03:09 AM
You can have Brad Nelson, with the signing of Mike Lamb, Nelson's lefty bench bat is less of a pressing need. Anyone know what Bedard's contract looks like and/if he is healthy going into next season.

brewersfan729
12-09-2008, 03:23 AM
He has one more year of arbitration, I think he made $7 million last year, that will likely go up even with the year he had this year. They likely won't give him away after what they traded for him as well.

Madtown343
12-09-2008, 04:24 AM
He has one more year of arbitration, I think he made $7 million last year, that will likely go up even with the year he had this year. They likely won't give him away after what they traded for him as well.


Thanks. Didnt think they would give him away, Brad Nelson's name was not related to my Bedard inquiry. Would more likely be Hardy, Fielder, Weeks, Hart, Hall names being thrown around. Also with Jack Z there you have to think there will be prospects that he drafted that he knows better than anyone and will be interested in adding to his minor league depth in Sea. You think the Brewers would be interested in Bedard? With new people running the show in Sea it might not be as relavant about what they previous people paid for him. Just another name if CC and Sheets both leave, but highly unlikely.

brewersfan729
12-09-2008, 05:06 AM
I'm not sure how interested they would be. He underwent surgery late in September, recovery for it usually takes six months. He may be ready for the beginning of next season, but I think counting on him as anything other more than a #3 starter is a very risky proposition if a team plans on competing next year. And pretty much every team that would have interest in him would plan on competing.

Duddy415
12-09-2008, 10:44 AM
You can have Brad Nelson, with the signing of Mike Lamb, Nelson's lefty bench bat is less of a pressing need. Anyone know what Bedard's contract looks like and/if he is healthy going into next season.

Did the brewers resign lamb? i didnt catch that.

Jackson
12-09-2008, 10:44 AM
I didn't know Nelson wasn't that great of a player. Most of things I have heard nationally and in Seattle (which unfortunately isn't much about the Brewers) is he is the first baseman in waiting and the only reason Fielders name is being thrown out there is because he is ready to take over. I heard is not a big power guy (maybe 15-18 hr's) but he will be a .300+ hitter with a solid glove. If this isn't true how do you guys project him? Do you guys have any interest in Beltre?

long ball
12-09-2008, 11:01 AM
Brad Nelson is a minor league free agent anyways. He isn't under Brewers control.

No sure where you read that.

crewfan13
12-09-2008, 11:29 AM
Nelson didn't look too great in September. I'm not sure Seattle fans realize but Nelson is 2 years older than Prince so its not like he's really an up and coming prospect either. He's been in the system since '01, so I'm not sure he's really a huge part of the Brewers future plans.

Drawantz
12-09-2008, 01:21 PM
I didn't know Nelson wasn't that great of a player. Most of things I have heard nationally and in Seattle (which unfortunately isn't much about the Brewers) is he is the first baseman in waiting and the only reason Fielders name is being thrown out there is because he is ready to take over. I heard is not a big power guy (maybe 15-18 hr's) but he will be a .300+ hitter with a solid glove. If this isn't true how do you guys project him? Do you guys have any interest in Beltre?

Sounds an awful lot like a description of Mat Gamel (except for solid glove). Sure you're not mixing them up?

Jackson
12-09-2008, 01:36 PM
Sounds an awful lot like a description of Mat Gamel (except for solid glove). Sure you're not mixing them up?

That could be...how old is Gamel?

Brewfan
12-09-2008, 03:47 PM
Clearly Melvin is not trading Hardy until he's relatively sure that a) Escobar's ready to take over offensively and defensively and b) Hardy provides more value to the Brewers on another team (provided the return) rather than at another position.

I like Escobar as much as anybody. But, he's most likely going to start the year in Huntsville or Nashville, looking at a May call-up at the earliest...if at all before September.

Granted, I think it's more likely that he'll get called-up sooner than later. But, what the Brewers do in April and May should obviously provide much more insight into their plans than the winter meetings. Namely, if the Brewers start getting Hardy some game experience at second or third in the early part of the season, it would seem likely that they plan to move him off SS and bring up Escobar.

long ball
12-09-2008, 03:53 PM
I saw it somewhere last month. He's been around more than 6 years in the minors so he is free to go wherever he wants after each season. It might have been in a Scott Thorman signing article. They wouldn't have anywhere to put 2 first basemen that are major league ready. I don't see them carrying Nelson or Thorman on the active roster.

Nelson could be carried as a bench player but could be an option at first base if Prince is traded. Thorman most likely will not make the big league roster out of camp.