Orioles in line to get Hardy and Harris on Thursday
A deal to bring Minnesota Twins shortstop J.J. Hardy to Baltimore is near completion and could be announced after Thursday morning’s Rule 5 draft.
The Orioles likely will receive Hardy and infielder Brendan Harris for two minor leaguers, possibly right-handed relievers Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson.
It would solve the Orioles' needs at both shortstop and utility infield and likely signal the end of free-agent shortstop Cesar Izturis’ time in Baltimore.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune is also reporting the deal is pending.
Hardy, 28, hit .268 with six homers and 38 RBIs in 101 games with the Twins last season. He is a career .263 hitter. His best season was in 2008, when he batted .283 with 24 homers and 74 RBIs in 146 games for the Milwaukee Brewers. He was a Brewers second-round draft pick in 2001.
Harris, 30, hit .157 with one homer and four RBIs in 43 games with the Twins in 2010. He is a career .260 hitter in parts of seven seasons. A former 2001 draft pick of the Chicago Cubs', he has played third base, second base, shortstop and first base in the major leagues.
Hardy in his final year of arbitration after making $5.1 million in 2010. He will be a free agent after the 2011 season. Harris signed a two-year, $3.2 million extension with the Twins after the 2009 season. He is owed $1.75 million in 2011.
Hoey, a 27-year-old right hander, had a combined 6-0 record with a 3.25 ERA in 42 outings between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. He made 35 appearances for the Orioles during the 2006 and 2007 seasons, going 3-5 with an 8.13 ERA. He missed all of 2008 with a right shoulder injury. The Orioles drafted him in the 13th round in 2003. He was put back on the 40-man roster earlier this offseason.
Jacobson, 24, went 8-1 with a 2.79 ERA in 34 relief appearances for Single-A Frederick. He was dealt to the Orioles in August 2009 in the trade that sent Aubrey Huff to the Detroit Tigers.
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