On this day two years ago the Brewers completed one of Doug Melvin's more controversial trades, sending J.J. Hardy to the Twins in exchange for Carlos Gomez. The Brewers had drafted Hardy with the 56th overall pick in the 2001 draft and brought him to Milwaukee for the first time during the 2005 season, where he played five years and hit 75 home runs.
At the time, it seemed possible Hardy was already on the down side of his career. After hitting a combined 50 home runs in 2007-08, he hit just .229/.302/.357 with eleven long balls in his final season in Milwaukee. At one point during the season he was sent back to AAA to make room for top prospect Alcides Escobar. Keeping Hardy in AAA for most of a month delayed his eventual free agency for an additional year.
Meanwhile, Carlos Gomez has more or less always been what Carlos Gomez is now: An offensive liability with sparkling defensive skills and speed to compare favorably to anyone else in baseball. Gomez has provided some value as a Brewer, but his offensive inadequacies have been a big enough problem to keep him from becoming a full time player. He's probably a candidate to be non-tendered this winter.
Hardy only stayed with the Twins for one year before being moved along to Baltimore. He had a big year in 2011, though, hitting 30 home runs, and parlayed that success into a three year contract extension.