Thursday, December 9, 2010

J.J. Hardy Coming to Baltimore

This time, the Orioles got their man.

Last night, the Twins agreed to send SS J.J. Hardy and IF Brendan Harris to Baltimore for minor league relievers Brett Jacobsen and Jim Hoey.

In a market where legitimate shortstops were scarce, the Orioles got the best one available. Hardy will be 27 next season and is a good bet to be a league average hitter. Unlike Jason Bartlett, (who the O's were linked to earlier in the week) he's also a very good fielder. He represents a huge upgrade over Cesar Izturis. Speaking of Izturis, in terms of UZR, Hardy's just as good with the glove as Izzy was, maybe just a hair better. A glove like Izturis who is a league average hitter? It's a big swing in talent for the shortstop position. He should make $5-6 million in 2011 after arbitration.

When Ty Wigginton was signed by the Rockies, I started looking at other free agent options for a new Oriole sutility infielder. As you might imagine, the options were not that appealing. Not that Brendan Harris is any great shakes either but he can play all around the infield and is already signed to a reasonable $1.75 million for 2011. Again, he's not a great player but he a better bet to be a league average hitter than Robert Andino, the only viable internal option.

The O's dealt from one of their only areas of depth in the minors: relief arms. RP Brett Jacobsen came to Baltimore in the Aubrey Huff trade and pitched last season in high-A Frederick. He pitched well in relief with 8.5 K/9 and a 2.79 K/BB ratio. But he is, after all, a relief proswpect in the low minors and he will not be missed.

RP Jim Hoey made his major league debut in 2006 showing a big fastball but one that was very hittable in the majors. He's battled wildness and inuries since and although he had a nice season between AA and AAA last season, he's still just a fringe relief prosepct at this point. Again, in this organization, he will not be missed.

The left side of the infield is set for 2011. Time to go get a first baseman.


The Oriole Way said...

Andy MacPhail may not be the one you want at the helm you hear your team linked to veteran free agents, but he can make a trade with the best of 'em. I like both of the deals he made to fill the left side of the infield.

SeanP said...

I really like the idea that MacPhail just turned Aubrey Huff's awful half-season into a year of J.J. Hardy.

DempseysArmy said...

Seems to be that way, huh? 4 relievers (only one in the majors) to fill third and short. And he used one of the guys he got for Aubrey Huff to do it.