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November 19, 2010

Prediction Friday: Ravens-Panthers and David Hernandez's trade value

I’m never a fan of the so-called “sure thing” game in pro football.

The NFL doesn’t work that way. Too much parity. Too many times a really good team gets beaten by a bad team. That Cowboys-Giants game last week was a perfect example.

So looking at the Ravens’ contest Sunday in Carolina, it appears to be a perfect trap game. Except that the Ravens were already tripped on the road last Thursday at Atlanta. They’ve had a couple extra days to prepare for the Panthers.

Oh, and there’s that little other matter: The Panthers are awful. Absolutely terrible. Probably the worst team in the NFL. And right now their starting quarterback is, wait for it, Brian St. Pierre. I don’t think the Panthers could win this one if they had St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, under center.

Ravens win 31-3. This is finally Ray Rice’s big day. Three TDs and 150 yards rushing.

Now it’s your turn on Prediction Friday. Predict Sunday’s winner, final score and the player of the game tiebreaker. I’ll shower the winner with fake gifts next week at the fake bar.

We’re also continuing the 2-for-1 theme at this joint on Fridays. We’ll switch to baseball.

My Sun baseball partner, Jeff Zrebiec, had a story in Friday editions saying the Orioles have talked to the Tampa Bay Rays about shortstop Jason Bartlett and the Minnesota Twins about shortstop J.J. Hardy. Jeff reports that the Rays have, in turn, asked about reliever David Hernandez.

Considering Minnesota needs bullpen help with half their relievers heading to free agency, the Twins might be eyeing Hernandez, too, though that hasn’t been confirmed.

I want to know if you would give up Hernandez for either Bartlett, who is 31, a good fielder and a career .281 hitter who struggled at the plate last season; or for Hardy, who is 28, has a cannon arm and enough pop to hit 20 homers per season but was slowed by injuries in 2010?

I am not sure I would.

Listen, I’d take either shortstop on my team; they are both an upgrade offensively over Cesar Izturis and both are more than solid defensively. But each is a free agent after next season.

And I am a big believer in Hernandez’s upside. I think he really enjoyed the switch to the bullpen last year, and it showed in his numbers: He was 1-5 with a 5.31 ERA in eight starts last year. He was 7-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 33 relief appearances. He struck out 45 batters and walked just 14 in 37 innings as a reliever. In 42 1/3 innings as a starter he walked 28 and fanned 27.

Hernandez is 25, and he has that quiet confidence possessed by a lot of excellent relievers. I think he can be an effective set-up guy at the least and a quality closer if he reaches his potential.

So I wouldn’t deal him, even to fill an offensive hole like shortstop with a solid player such as Bartlett or Hardy. For the record, just so you know I am not playing the homer card here, I would trade any other reliever in the Orioles’ organization for either one of those two, even knowing Bartlett/Hardy may walk after 2011. Just not Hernandez.

Perhaps the equation involving Hernandez changes if Bartlett or Hardy would agree to a contract extension with the Orioles. But you can’t count on that. So you have to assume it’s a one-year rental

Maybe I am crazy here. Maybe I am overvaluing Hernandez. You tell me. Would you trade Hernandez for either Bartlett or Hardy?

Daily Think Special: Prediction Friday: Ravens-Panthers

Bonus Think Special: Would you trade David Hernandez for either Jason Bartlett or J.J. Hardy?

Posted by Dan Connolly at 12:26 AM | | Comments (69)
Categories: Connolly's Corner Sports Bar


You may be over valuating hernandez as I would be too.. I would wait to see if either are non tendered or try albers for either SS.. Until I see the nontenders I would keep hernandez as a possible trade chip for the big corner power bat.. Uhara will be a key or until then hernandez,berken, johnson,gonzales make a strong pen to build on.

someone should be shot if we trade his young arm for either one of them.

I'd rather keep Hernandez and sign Orlando Cabrera for a two years, in the hope that Machado will be ready by 2013.


Ravens 28-10 over Panthers.

No to Hernandez for either Hardy or Bartlett. However, agree with trading any other reliever in the organization for Hardy or Bartlett.


Great column. I've been racking my brains about this since I saw Jeff''s column. I too love Hernandez AND I dont think your overvaluing him. It's pretty well known that teams constantly inquire about him, so I think that's a big sign of his value. I only would deal Hernandez for Bartlett thou. Hardy has had injury problems lately, so even a contract extention may not make that deal prudent. On the other hand, Bartlett has shown his value with the fact he can handle the AL East successfully. He would be your perfect #2 hole hitter between Roberts and Markakis. So, if I deal Hernandez straight up for Bartlett, I HAVE to have a 3 yr contract extention. I'd say 3 yrs between 15-18 mil. That way he's locked up, gives Machado plenty of time to be Major League ready, and if Machado gets here sooner, Bartlett's contract wouldn't be that difficult to move.

BUT that said, I MAY be willing to make that deal for Bartlett with the contract extention, that's not where I think Hernandez's value is at. IMO, he's a "big name" trade chip. He's the guy you add with Tillman, Pie, etc, to get an Adrian Gonzalez, or Prince Fielder, or Zack Greinke. To me, that's Hernandez's real value. He has such a bright future in the bullpen that I would be hard pressed to just give him up for one player. Which is why i'm glad i'm not Mr. MacPhail, cause this would definitely be a player that I would have reservations about trading away. It would have to be the EXACT right scenario for me to do it.


I see your point Eric, but I think THAT is overvaluing him. I think the Orioles have three "major" trade chips in Matusz, Wieters and Jones. Everyone else is a slot lower and, to other teams, has some flaws, whether it's contractual or lack of experience, etc.

Dan you and I agree! For once.
I like Hernandez. If he stays healthy and the O's give him a fair shake. He's going to be one of the best middle relievers in the AL in 2011 for sure!

As for the shortstops mentioned, no I would not trade for them! Although, when you mentioned Hardy has a cannon arm that kinda piqued my interest. I haven't really followed his career. But I would make the Brew Crew a firm offer of Rick VandenHurk, Pedro Viola and Mike Gonzalez and see if they bite! That's what I would do. Take a flier maybe, Maybe! LOL

No way make this trade. What you gain at shortstop is minimal compared to what you lose in the bullpen. When are they going to learn it is PITCHING, PITCHING, PITCHING!!!!!!!!!

No. I would resign Izturis. The importance of an excellent defensive shortstop for a pitching staff, especially a young staff, cannot be overestimated. The runs he saves more than compensate for those another SS would produce. Trade Hernandez for an upgrade at a corner, if one trades him at all.

That is exactly what I was thinking when I read that. Trade them Berken or Simon but not Hernandez. He seems to have figured it out and has a lot of upside. He has great stuff and is under control for 4 or 5 years. I'm not saying I wouldn't include him in a trade for a big bat but not for a 1 year rental of a pretty good shortstop.

I'll have a Bloody Mary--the breakfast of champions. I like the idea of keeping Hernandez--he does have a good arm but he has yet to show any consistency though. There's nothing wrong with signing Izzy for one more year, as long as they dramatically upgrade the offense in other areas so his anemic bad won't be as much of a liability.

By the way, be sure you make that Bloody Mary with tomato juice. Don't try slipping in any V8 on me.


I'm with you on Hernandez. No way do I trade him for one year of Bartlett or Hardy unless the O's can work out a contract extension prior to the trade. That being said, I would send just about any other reliever. Maybe Matt Albers or Jason Berken would be more of a fair trade for a one year rental.

You have to spend money to make money. If they won't trade Hernandez then who will they trade? They can worry about next year when the time comes. Make the trade.

You need to show you are getting better to attract more free agents down the road.

Also, would the Orioles get a draft pick once they decided to test Free Agency?

Only if they offered arbitration (both guys likely would be at least Type Bs, I would assume now). So that would be at least one compensatory pick, maybe more.

I have trouble believing the Orioles would consider trading Hernandez for either of those average SS. I would only include Hernandez in a trade if it brought back a legit bat for the middle of the order. I know it would take more than him but I would be okay with including him in that kind of trade only.

Neither the Twins or Rays are going to give away either shortstop. Both are an upgrade over Izturis (Hardy has a higher range factor than Izturis and Bartlett, Bartlett hits better than both though Hardy has more power). I think Hardy is the better bet. Bit you gotta give someone to get someone. So, while I'd hate to give Hernandez up, it might be necessary. Albers just ain't gonna cut it. Maybe the Twins will throw in a few player scouts...

I would trade Albers, Erbe, Hoey, Mickolio, or Spoone. Do we have trade bait one season away from free agency like the targets?

NO! I wouldn't trade any of the O's young pitchers for a one year rental. At least not until they are ready to make a run at it.
Sign Cesar back and wait until just the right SS becomes available. A middle of the line up hitter is more important.

Ravens 24-17.

I believe the O's last two months of 2010 are indicative of what will happen in 2011. Sure they need that corner power but I think Buck gives them that intangible that causes them to believe they can win it and that is half the battle. I remember Bartlett single handedly beating us in at least one game or maybe a series when he was in Minn. I think it would be worth the gamble. I am shooting for 2011 to make the playoffs and as much as I like David I would make the trade. Also it will be a walk year and that tends to make players have career years.

Astros traded a pitcher comparable to Hernandez for Barmes, a SS comparable to Orioles' targets.

Perhaps I read too much into Jeff Z's post, but it seemed like he was saying that the O's were interested in Barlett and Hardy, but when the Rays asked for Hernandez they focused their talks on Hardy. So, I'm guessing that DH is not part of talks with the Twins. Simon or Vandenhurk and Adams wold seem more likely to me.

Jeff Z's reply: They're still interested in Bartlett, just don't think they're interested in moving Hernandez for him if that's what it takes.

NO WAY! Keep Hernandez..Good young pitching trumps average position players

Hernandez is arguably one of the better middle men. He put up solid numbers in the role and he's only 25. And the game is all about pitching. Giving him up for a one year rental is just plain stupid because the Orioles wouldn't compete to resign whichever ss they choose anyway. It would be stupid and I vote NO. But, lest we forget, this is the O's front office and they do stupid pretty darned well. I say get out early and sign Jon Garland now and then work on first and 3rd.....both EARLY. Show the league that the O's are serious "this time".

I'm on the fence about either of those SS for Hernandez. I lean towards against any trades for one year players without an extension.

However, I'm befuddled by how much people overvalue Izturis. The guy is easily one of the five worst everyday hitters in the game. There are a handful of pitchers I'd rather see hit in a clutch situation than Izturis. He's also not THAT fantastic on defense. He's good, he's solid, but he's probably still second tier defensively. I think a lof of fans around here are still traumatized by the horror show at short that we saw after Tejada’s first departure and before Izturis’s arrival. People talk/write about the need for good defense behind young pitchers, but there is also a need for hitters that don't make those pitchers feel like they can't give up a solo homerun from fear of losing 1-0.

Personally, I will be very disappointed if this team has Izturis’s bat (or lack thereof) batting ninth again next season.

I do not think the rest of MLB values David Hernandez the way Dan and most of the commenters here seem to value him.

Hernandez is a 26-year-old former 16th-round draft pick with a career 5 ERA in the majors and solid -- if unspectacular -- numbers is the minors.

The idea that Hernandez could be the centerpiece for trading for a middle-of-the-order hitter is... not connected with reality. His value on the trade market is, well, probably Jason Bartlett. Indeed, I suspect that what's holding up the deal is that the Rays (sensibly) want MORE in exchange for Bartlett than just Hernandez.

As an aside: anyone who does not understand that Cesar Izturis and his 545 OPS is the single worst hitter in MLB ought to have their commenting privileges revoked. You cannot hit .230, never walk, and never hit a ball out of the shallow infield and have value in MLB.

I'd rather keep Izturis for the defense. Shortstop is an important defensive position.


I can't find the article from a week or two ago about that Japanese infielder so I don't know his name. Go after him and bring him in. Spend the money so you get the best player available. Once that player is locked up, then I would sign Konerko and Beltre. Pay whatever it takes. Sign those three players, and the O's are a major contender in the AL East. Add Cliff Lee to the equation, and you may even say we have a real shot at doing some damage.

Do not trade him, he is going to being really good in that role. If Hardy and Bartlet are the best options, just keep Izturis. He has never been a great hitter but solid in the field and a team player. Why get rid of him to get an injury prone or an inconsistent, older, replacement?

Ravens 38-7. Rice with a big day. Stallworth makes a couple big catches. Defense toys with whoever's QBing for Carolina.

I would NOT trade DH for either of those guys. Wait to see if either is non-tendered, otherwise sign Izturis or Cabrera as a stopgap until Machado is ready.

As has happened in the past, Andy is losing focus. Hernandez has shown he is versatile and I think it would be risky to give up on him after one year. With his fast ball, he has more late inning potential than any of the other middle/late relief guys. ANd why haven't we reached out to Koji?? He was awesome as a closer. Andy's strength seems to be finding former Cub draft picks who have faltered. While I am excited about 2011 after this past late summer, Andy is beginning to lower my expectations.

Jeff Z's reply: Losing focus? He's talking to other teams about trades and he's talking to different representatives of free agents. They have reached out to Koji's agent multiple times. As for Hernandez, if the Orioles were willing to give up on him this easily and thought that the proposed Bartlett-Hernandez deal was a sure thing, they would have done it by now. But not everyone is sold.

The player who seems to be overvalued in these comments is Cesar Izturis. Izturis was the worst hitter among regular MLB position players last year, it was a historically poor season for an American League regular. And his defense is good, but he's not Ozzie Smith. Hardy is a terrific SS - every bit as good as Izturis - who bring something to the batters box. This would be a MAJOR upgrade for the Orioles. Also, Hardy is 2 1/2 years younger than Izturis.

Bartlett had a poor year, and I am more worried about him going forward than Hardy.

There are lots of players I would rather trade than Hernandez, but if that's what it took to make this upgrade, I would probably do it. However, both players are in danger of being non-tendered and I don't think either team will get a player as good as Hernandez in return. At least, I hope not.

I'd expect the O's to be "in the market" on Hardy, Bartlett, the Japanese player who's being posted and every other warm-blooded SS available this season. Bringing back Izturis would be very disappointing.

Ravens 28
Panthers 0

Too much D Ed Reed player of the game 3 ints

Wouldn't trade Hernandez for either of those two. I'd resign Izturis- just for his D and take the offensive hit at SS. Where we need a serious upgrade offensively is at the corners- 3B, 1B. If we have to move Hernandez (and I wouldn't let him go lightly) it would be in a package for a quality bat at one of those two positions. Otherwise, keep him here.

Jeff & Dan-
There is at least one report out there that the O's are one of a half-dozen or so teams that plan to bid on Nishioka. I know you both have said recently that there's nothing happening here - has anything changed, to your knowledge?

Jeff Z's reply: Last I heard and it was a few minutes ago was that the team still hasn't decided whether they will bid or not and even if they did bid, they likely wouldn't win the opportunity to negotiate because of what they view as the player's worth.

Hernandez is worth too much to give up for a one year rental player. try another deal.

Ravens, 37-10. I loved the fire that Boldin showed last game that was a major factor in getting us back into it, demonstrating one key aspect of leadership that Flacco hasn't developed yet (although I'm not one of those who thinks Flacco's perceived laid-back attitude suggests he's not a leader).

I like Hernandez as a middle reliever or would like him to be a piece of a bigger deal, not a one-for-one swap for an OK shortstop, especially one who could end up a free agent anyway. I would like to have Bartlett, b/c I think he's probably a .270 hitter with good speed and plus defense, which is pretty nice at the bottom of the order. But I would want to sign him, not trade for him. I'm willing to trade some of our young arms (except Matusz) but not for a complimentary piece.

Keep Hernandez given the troubles in the past in the bullpen and stay the course at shortstop.

The exception would be if they can trade for a first or third baseman, but Hernandez would then have to be part of a package deal.

I woulndn't trade for either unless I could resign them for additionsl years. We can't keeping giving our guy's away cheep.
Thanks Curt

I wouldn't trade him for Bartlett or Hardy, but I would certainly include him in a deal for Mark Reynolds. Reynolds is still under contract for 2 more years plus a team option third year with a very affordable buyout.

No...the upgrade isn't that significant over Izturis, but I'd be more interested in Hardy...Barletts UZR rating is -13.8 and his offense won't offset that. Hardy is +5 and Izturis is +5.8

Besides the O's apparently are going to bid on Tsuyoshi Nishioka according to MLB Trade Rumors. It looks like their only competition will be the Padres and Mariners.

Yes! Anytime you can trade a reliever for a quality position player, you should do it. Look at the Sherrill trade as an example. The only question is which SS. What about Scutaro? Is he available?

Jeff Z's reply: Scutaro reportedly is available because they have Jed Lowrie behind him.

Hardy is interesting, if they can get him to sign an extension and they sign a big bat at 1st. He's a possible move to 3d, when Machado is brougt up.

A trade only for Stephen Drew straight up, or part of a multi player deal for Albert Puljos. Otherwise, the Orioles would do well to hang on to him.

What worries me about reports of discussions around adding power to the SS position is that it comes out before reports about discussions around adding power at the corners.

Shouldn't the front office's priority be on upgrading 3B/1B, then, if they don't succeed there, then try to add some pop to SS?

If the front office is leaking this, does it infer they don't believe they can get a premium big bat?

Jeff Z"s reply: One, front office isn't leaking it. Two, one of the reasons the Orioles aren't prepared to immediately pull trigger on deal for SS is their priority is to upgrade offense at the corners. Who they get to play the corners will have an impact on who they acquire to play short. If they really upgrade at both corners and sign say Adrian Beltre and Paul Konerko, then they probably would be more open to resigning Izturis to play SS because of his defense.

no not worth the trade

no no no , stop trading young arm for middle of the road players hoping that they will have a banner year , same old mo the orioles do every year . go out and get prince give whatever he wants and a young pitcher too , we will never win untill we pull off the big trade , thses small journeyman players cant help a team like us . ravens 27-6

Jeff Z"s reply: One, front office isn't leaking it. Two, one of the reasons the Orioles aren't prepared to immediately pull trigger on deal for SS is their priority is to upgrade offense at the corners. Who they get to play the corners will have an impact on who they acquire to play short.

Jeff, I know I am your favorite blogger and favorite fur ball of all time, but...

If the the front office isn't leaking, what in heaven's green are they doing?

They are either putting the cart before the horse or they are putting up a weather balloon to see which way the wind is blowing. Since Andy Mac never tells the fans what he's thinking, why the change in precedent?

Jeff Z's reply: I'd be more than happy to answer your question, but I don't understand it. Andy has never wavered in how he deals with the media, and the rest of the front office takes its cue from him. He returns calls, he's respectful, he doesn't refuse any questions, but he's not very forthcoming and he abhors leaks. Nothing has changed since the day he was hired here.

Hey Jeff,

DD asked
If the front office is leaking this...?

I read your response and you said the Front office isn't leaking this.

And I asked or at least tried to ask, if the front office isn't leaking this information, what are they trying to do?

If they want a Shortstop, go out an get a shortstop.

Also, then I had the comment about the cart before the horse, because you said they need a 1b and 3rd basemen before they get a shortstop. Which led up to an unclear follow up question by me.

Hopefully, this will be more clear.

Why did the front office since yesterday start talking about a shortstop, when they need to go out and get a 1b and 3rd baseman before they get a shortstop.

The whole thing sounds like a smoke screen and it's quite unnecessary

Jeff Z's reply: You are reading way too much into it and the sequence of events. The front office right now is looking into all the scenarios based on who they believe they can or cannot get. Their main priority is upgrading the team's offense, but that doesn't mean they're not, at the time, trying to figure out their best option at SS. If they can get a shortstop right now for a price (either in terms of contract or talent) that is not too prohibitive, then I'm sure they'll do it.

>Would you trade Hernandez for either Bartlett or Hardy?


I'd just as soon see Rice have his "BIG GAME(s)" against our tougher teams which lay ahead. A good game from him is all that is needed this week. It's our linebackers that need to show their toughness and ability this week along with going forward.. Ravens 27 - Panthers 12.

Ravens win big: 42-6
Joe passes for 300+ yards, throws 3 TD passes, one to Boldin, one to Mason, and one to Heap. Ed has a pick 6. Rice gets 2 TDs and 130 yards rushing. 7-3: Not bad. Can't believe that we have to root for THE RAIDERS this week. All is perfect if the Texans get their foot out of their behind and beat the Jets.

Please Dan be right about R. Rice, my reality & fantasy teams would greatly appreciate it! I'm no good at predicting trap games so I'm hopeful Ravens 34-7 while pumping the brakes in the 4th quarter & Stallworth as my hero!

Are you kidding me!? Trade Hernandez for one of those two. Even an idiot would see that these two get us no closer than we are now. They might help us win 5 more games. Where does that put us? In last place. Use him to get a BIG bat who will hit 30+ homeruns. Anything else would be uncivilized!

I'll take hardy in a flash if we can sign him to three years.
I think we have the arms if we get Koji back. We need BATS!!

Neither SS mentioned adequately replaces Izturis, who we can re-sign without giving up anyone.

Therefore we would end up with a downgrade at shortstop and one less young strong arm in the bullpen.

The whoie idea is just stupid.

Whatever happened to sticking with the old "Orioles Way" with pitching and defense. The arms back then need no mention, but how about Mark Belanger who scooped everything hit his way, but had a weak batting average? His bat didn't matter because there were other hitters who did the damage, while the pitchers kept the opposing team from scoring runs. It was Belanger's defense that was important. Let's keep Hernandez and his power arm and Izturis with his glove. Hmmm, pitching and defense...

No way make this trade. What you gain at shortstop is minimal compared to what you lose in the bullpen. When are they going to learn it is PITCHING, PITCHING, PITCHING!!!!!!!!!

Ed said it all !


I would say no at this point. Both SS are tempting but good young arms are at a premium and I beleive Hernandez is only getting better and these two may have already peaked. And we always forget...........Pitching and Defense are still the keys to winning.

Dumb move, neither shorstop is that great and our current shortstop makes up for his hitting with stellar defense. why give up an above average young arm for two over the hill mediocre shortstops who are only under contract for a year??

Gimme a Dos Equis, A Schlitz and a shot of bourbon. I need to warm up before heading down to College Park.

Ravens - 45
Charlotte - 10

Defense has 2 pick 6's.

As for Hernandez, I like him right where he is. Set up guy w/the ability to close if need be, Don't need to lose him for a one year fill in. Not worth it.


The Os need help at SS and with corner players who can improve the middle of the order by bringing power and RBI strength.

I would trade Hernandez for either of the two shortstops PROVIDED the Os were convinced the player could be signed to a 3 year contract before the season begins. I would agree with those that say no trade for a one year rental.

Hardy is unhappy in Mil. Reading up on him has convinced me that his injuries are behind him and it's time for a change. He's 3 yrs younger than Izzy and Bartlett. He's also a better SS IMO and has way more power, plus steals more bases than either. If if takes DH, so be it. I don't think Albers or any lesser reliever will cut it for the Brewers.


Jeff Z's reply: I assume you mean unhappy in Minnesota, where he is playing right now. Either way Lynn, the consensus I've gotten from O's fans is they'd prefer Hardy over Bartlett, but they probably wouldn't trade David Hernandez for either one.

I would trade him for Hardy in a heart beat, but not so much for Bartlett who I think has seen his best days.

Also, I can't believe that you think that Markakis is a tier below Jones, Wieters, and Matusz as a trade chip.

NO WAY!!!!! PITCHING IS KEY TO WINNING...Go hard after Victor Martinez
who could function as a backup catcher
leaving an open spot on the roster for
an additional fact, adding
Maritnez may make Weiters better or
available for trade. Resign Izturis..good
glove...spend $$$'s on 3rd Baseman
or pitching.

ravens 28 panthers 18
they aren't that bad of a team.

and don't trade hernandez. focus on making more powerhouse signings. how many o's trades have worked to their favor in the past?

Baltimore 38
Carolina 13

Boldin catches two TD passes, Dickson one, and Rice one (that's 4 Flacco TD passes. Rice runs one in from 7 yards away. Cundiff hits a 38-yard field goal.

Bartlett or Hardy, for one-year rentals, are not worth it for Hernandez.

Sign Pena for first and trade for Reynolds for third.

I did not get my pick in before the game, but if I had it would have been Ravens winning 27-13. Nice to see Reed and Lewis prove me wrong. Can't believe someone in here actually nailed the two pick sixes.

Interesting how many fans say the Orioles have to "overpay" to get a free agent signed and don't worry about the cost, but they don't want to "overpay" in trading from an area of possible surplus for an area of definite need. I'm concerned that Bartlett's best days are behind him and don't want to trade Hernandez within the division if I'm "overpaying" for the return. I like the long term potential of Hardy and would consider a deal for him. I'd take either one as a free agent if they were non-tendered. But if I could package Hernandez for Drew I'd swap him for that SS. I just think that the Snakes would want more back than would be good to give up.

Now, if both Hardy and Bartlett get non-tendered and sign with someone besides the Orioles, I wonder how many fans will be all over the warehouse for not making a deal when they had the chance?

All trades are painfull. You become to player's "upside" and then become so dissappointed when they do not come through. (Does the name Sidney Ponson ring a bell)?

That said, I would make the trade for JJ Hardy. He has spent his career playing for a quality organization with quality people.

HOWEVER, under no circumstances should the deal go down without a new contract extension

If the Cards can't work out an extension with Pujols, I deal Markakis, Matusz, Wieters, and Tillman for him.

Possibly the best hitter in the history of baseball and the only player who won't soil his pants when visiting Fenway Park and the Bronx.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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