Hardy talks still ongoing
Update 8:00 p.m.: The Twins and Orioles are talking again and
things could draw closer. But it’s important to note that nothing is
imminent, and there are a lot of names still being discussed. Bartlett’s
move could help the two sides get closer to a deal, and keep in mind
MacPhail is familiar with the Twins organization (he won two World Series as a GM in Minnesota) so it could be a
Reynolds-type situation where the two sides agree rather quickly once
names start to factor in.
No one is shutting the door on this and it’s situation that could heat
up quick. But as of 8 p.m. Wednesday night, there is still communication
between the two clubs.
The Twins appear to be looking for pitching in return for Hardy, particularly relief help to help bolster a bullpen that could be hit hard by free agent departures. However, talks haven’t progressed enough yet for the Orioles to start talking exactly what prospects they would ship. There’s a list of different names and, as I said earlier, their fourth pick in tomorrow’s Rule 5 Draft could come into play.
While Twins general manager Bill Smith declined to talk about any possible trade scenarios, he was asked Wednesday if it’s necessary for his club to get back Major League talent in a trade.
“Not necessarily,” Smith said. “Sometimes you take the short-term hit if you can strengthen your organization long-term.”
When reached on his cell phone on Wednesday evening, Hardy said that he had not heard anything from the Twins in regards to a trade, although he said that likely wouldn’t happen until a deal was complete.
I blogged earlier about the J.J. Hardy to the Orioles talk being premature. And it appears they were, as a source close to the situation told MLB.com that the two sides did talk but they were “never close” to a deal on Wednesday afternoon.
The Orioles and Twins have been talking for a while, as you would figure they would. The Orioles need a shortstop and the Twins have a surplus and don’t want to pay Hardy arbitration that figures to be around $6 million. It’s important to note that –like yesterday with Bartlett — the Orioles could still make a swap.
With Bartlett now gone to the Padres, the Orioles are left with Brendan Ryan or Hardy as their options if they chose to not retain Cesar Izturis. MacPhail said tonight that the clubs only options are trade or Izturis, which eliminates free agents like Orlando Cabrera.