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Orioles acquire shortstop J.J. Hardy from Twins

Dec 9, 2010, 12:12 PM EDT

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UPDATE: The deal is now official. Hardy, Brendan Harris, and $500,000 in cash for Hoey and Jacobson.

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The Orioles are trade-happy.

Not satisfied with acquiring Mark Reynolds from the Diamondbacks on Monday, they are now a couple of routine physicals away from landing shortstop J.J. Hardy and utility infielder Brendan Harris from the Twins.

This all comes via Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, who suspects that pitchers Brett Jacobson and Jim Hoey will be shipped to Minnesota in return.

Jacobson, 24, posted a 2.79 ERA and 1.28 WHIP over 71 innings this year at high Single-A Fredrick.  He’s a promising 6-foot-6 righty, and could be throwing middle relief innings for the big league Twins in a season-and-a-half.  Hoey, a 27-year-old right-hander, had 32 strikeouts in 21.1 innings this year at Triple-A.  He has a bit of experience in the majors and may be ready for another look.

That’s not a package that is going to make a dent in the Orioles’ farm system.  Jacobson and Hoey might become nice relievers, but Baltimore did well here.

It wasn’t long ago that Hardy was a highly productive shortstop.  He had down years in 2009 and 2010, but he slugged 24 homers in 2008 and he doesn’t turn 29 years old until next August.  Maybe things will be better for him in Baltimore.

Harris is a throw-in.  He’s 30 years old and had a 446 OPS across 108 at-bats this year.  Minnesota was his seventh organization — if the trade goes through as it’s being reported Baltimore will be his eighth.

The Twins were looking to trade Hardy this winter in order to avoid the nearly $7 million that he stands to earn next season via salary arbitration.  They still need to pay Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka and have been considering retaining free agent starter Carl Pavano.  If Hardy’s salary is moved to the Orioles’ pockets, it’s game on with Pavano.

  1. randomdigits - Dec 9, 2010 at 8:13 AM

    You have to be trade happy as the Orioles, have you noticed that the FAs are not exactly knocking down the doors of the Warehouse trying to get in and sign contracts.

    Hopefully the O’s can convince Lee to come play first base.

  2. dluxxx - Dec 9, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    I understand the salary dump (especially Harris, who was signed to a stupid 2 year contract then shipped to AAA after about 2 months last year), but I hate that they traded Hardy. The Twins haven’t had a decent SS since Bartlett, and now they are going to have to rely on Alexi Cassila and/ or an unproven Tsuyoshi Nishioka. I just don’t get it…

    • dluxxx - Dec 9, 2010 at 3:33 PM

      Oh yeah, I meant to say they finally had one, and they traded him away because he isn’t a “speed guy.”

  3. b453841l - Dec 9, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    This leaves the door wide open for a blockbuster free agent signing of Nick Punto. 3 years 10 million dollars.

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