By RICK SOLEM
The Minnesota Twins have three all-stars: catcher Joe Mauer, reliever Glen Perkins and outfielder Carlos Gomez.
Oh, wait. Gomez is a Milwaukee Brewer now, that’s right.
It is a little funny that two of the lowliest teams in the majors each have two all-stars. The Brewers other all-star for tonight’s game is Jean Segura.
It only took five years for Gomez to get to all-star status after being traded to Minnesota from the New York Mets for, essentially, Johan Santana in February 2008.
Gomez was then traded for J.J. Hardy nearly a year later for Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy. … and then Hardy was traded nearly a year after that to Baltimore for Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobsen – both have since been waived.
It’s always funny going back and looking how a blockbuster trade turns out.
It was a bit of a disaster for the Mets, considering Santana signed a six-year, $137.5 million contract, missing two of those years completely – this one included - because of shoulder issues. He did, however, pitch their only no-hitter last season, in which the 34-year-old had a 4.85 ERA in 21 games.
You couldn’t really say the Twins came out a complete disaster, though in the end, they basically got two minor leaguers for Santana, giving up one all-star outfielder.
But they needed Hardy for their championship run – they won the division and nearly the best record in the AL that year (94-68), and Gomez didn’t really come along until late last season.
He would have been useless for the Twins for years, though Hardy didn’t do much, either. He hit six home runs his one season with them. The next year, he hit 30 for Baltimore.
A friend pointed this out, too: Nyjer Morgan was the preferred outfielder to Gomez in 2011. Remember Morgan? Neither do I.
But now Gomez, 27, is an all-star. He’s batting .295 with 14 home runs and 21 stolen bases.
It’s pretty remarkable the 38-56 Brewers and 39-53 Twins have two all-stars each. Minnesota pays heavily for one of those. Mauer, 30, signed an eight-year, $184 million contract in 2010. He’s hitting .320 this season with eight home runs.
Minnesota’s other all-star, Perkins, will probably be traded. The 30 year old has a 1.82 ERA with 21 saves.
And last, but not least, Segura, 23, is perhaps the best shortstop in the league this season.
He’s another gift the Brewers received for an all-star caliber pitcher. Segura came to Milwaukee in the Zack Greinke trade and has been quite a surprise. He’s batting .325 with 27 stolen bases and 11 home runs in 372 at-bats. Last year, he hit .264 with seven stolen bases and no home runs in 148 at-bats for Milwaukee.