Saturday, January 19, 2013
Hardy not a trade chip
By Jason Catania
While there has been speculation off-and-on this winter that the Baltimore Orioles could trade J.J. Hardy to free up the shortstop job for phenom Manny Machado, there doesn't seem to be much of a chance that Hardy will be going anywhere.
MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko tweeted Saturday that just because other teams want Hardy doesn't mean the O's will trade him.
Plenty of teams could use -- nay, desperately need -- a shortstop, so it's only logical that Hardy would be targeted. Some clubs who have reportedly been interested or who could make sense as a trade match are the St. Louis Cardinals, Detroit Tigers, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Hardy hit just .238 last year but has smacked 52 homers the past two seasons, 22 of which came in 2012. He's under contract for $7 million each in 2013 and 2014, which is a bargain for a good-fielding, power-hitting shortstop who is still just 30 years old. Plus, if the Orioles traded Hardy and shifted Machado to his natural shortstop position, they would be right back where they were last year when they had a hole at the hot corner and were forced to bring up Machado and put him there.