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June 29, 2011

Orioles start Hardy talks; Orioles agree to terms with two more

Orioles President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail touched base with J.J. Hardy's agent this week to begin talks about a potential contract extension for the hot-hitting shortstop.

Hardy will become a free agent after the season, and MacPhail has voiced his desire to reach an agreement with the 28-year-old who has been one of the team's best players through the first half.

Talks haven't gotten serious to this point, but that should change as the Orioles get closer to the July 31 trade deadline. With the struggles of veterans Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero, Hardy has emerged as arguably the Orioles' biggest trade chip as several contenders, including the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants, could be looking for a shortstop upgrade.

Hardy has nine home runs this month, one shy of tying Miguel Tejada's record for homers in a month by an Orioles shortstop. Tejada hit 10 in August 2007. Hardy's 11 home runs this year are three more than the Orioles shortstop hit the last three years combined.

The Orioles have agreed to terms with two more draft picks - 15th-rounder Eric Wooten, a left-handed pitcher out of Central Arizona Junior College, and 21st-rounder Jose Rivera, a right-handed pitcher out of Hill Junior College.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 6:13 PM | | Comments (17)


I wonder if the magic words, i.e "hometown discount", will be thrown around during the Hardy contract negotiations. My money is on: heck yeah! That's how MacPhail rolls!

Why does Buck refuse to play Reimold? I know he is a righty and they are facing righties all week, but he is 5 for 16 against them this year (.313)!! last time i looked that was better the Pie... Whats the deal?

Jeff Z's reply: All I can say is what I have said several times, and that's he's obviously more comfortable with Luke Scott or Pie against right-handed pitching, and that's all the Orioles have been getting lately. They are really trying to get Scott on track because he's a bat that can carry them offensively for stretches and he was their best hitter for much of last season. But I would agree with the thought that Scott and Pie are just not getting it done and Reimold probably deserves an opportunity.

You can certainly argue the wisdom of his deals, and maybe on how frugal MacPhail can be, but when has he ever low-balled a player to get a "hometown discount?" I'm not suggesting he wouldn't ask for such a thing, but it's never come into play, and he did sign Markakis and Roberts to competitive market rates at the times of their deals. They weren't hometown discounts.

The O's are better off trading Hardy and than trying to resign him in the offseason. We all now Andy moves at a snails pace, he'll never get a contract done by the trade deadline, don't even bother #McFAIL

Can someone please tell me how one baseball team can be so disgusting to watch. The zerO's s**k. What a disgrace you are to Baltimore and Maryland. Please do us a favor and leave our city and take your losing, stinking ways with you. Oh and while you are at it take Angelos and the idiot McFail with you. I can only hope and pray that something happens and this bunch doesn't come back from their next road trip. Wouldn't waste my money watching them play.

Eddie in short is your memory? Does the words low ball ring a bell with the Tex negotiations? How about the Hendrickson negotiations?

BuckS. why in the world is Nolan Riemold not playing? Look his stats up for 2009..he was a regular & had great numbers prior to his injury. Even this year, he is hitting around .310-.315 against right handers. He's a better hitter than Pie and at least this year, a better hitter than Scott. He's alson not a defensive liability like Luke. Pie may be defensively better in some ways but if you watch some of his game video..he angles to the ball wrong, balls sail over his head..and he pulls up & stops on balls hit in front of him & they fall in for singles. If we had better defense & offense in Right field..we would be a better club. Let Scott get his shoulder Reimold as a regular & Pie should just be a lefty pinch hitter in some cases..thats it. He was promising with the Cubs...Why do you think they sent him to us...couldn't wait to unload him....McPhail & Showalter come on your stats & watch your teams game'll learn a lot about your left fielders!!!!

Reimold should get some serious playing time. Aside from the potential upside of his offense he's certainly a bit less scary to watch in the field than Pie. Another thought on the left field situation might be to have Davis get some time out there? Hasn't he been playing the outfield? He looks like someone whose bat should be in the lineup more often than not, at least for now............
As for Hardy, sign him for whatever it takes. It's been a while since they got a player with this much immediate impact via trade. He's a terrific player, both at the plate and in the field, seems to be a positive influence in the clubhouse and has said he WANTS to be here. This shouldn't be a difficult decision. The length of his contract should not be based on how soon Muchado will be ready. If, two years down the road, they have to figure out how to get both Hardy and Muchado in the lineup would that be a GREAT problem to have...........

@ Chuck you should take your sorry butt and leave, I'll take them over no team any day.

As for @ Paul, I don't call $140 Million to Tex low ball on any scale and also keep in mind that Tex had no intention of singing with the O's. He wanted to be a Yankee.

Angelos has proven time and again if you put a proper deal infront of him he will sign it. If you go back and look at the deals he nixed, almost everyone he was proven to be right (see Carl Palvano as only one example).

It's funny what bad memories you folks have. I remember everyone telling Angelos to stay out of the baseball side of the business and hire GM's that can run the team. Now maybe his GM choices weren't the best but he did exactly what everyone wanted him to do and then you want to hack him up in public.

Also keep in mind that Peter Angelos is one of the most generous philanthropic people in the state of MD. This is the guy who gave $3 Billion dollars back to the state when he represented and won the tobacco suite and there are many more examples of his generosity.

He also fights the state to keep OPACY the best venue in baseball, which is no easy feat.

Now if you want to look at the O's feild problems most of it comes from two area, starting pitching and offense. We all expected more from our starter and they haven't delivered at all. The offense is bad but I remember everyone here say to go get Vlad no matter what the cost.

Everyone raved about getting Reynolds power bat even with the strike outs. I also remember people defending Luke as a decent Left Fielder. The same people said in the spring Riemold should be in AAA because he was a major league feilder and now you all want him to start everyday.

You can't have it both ways folks.

If they're not going to play Reimold than send him back to the minor - sitting on the bench in the majors isn't going to help any thing

Trade Hardy?

You're kidding, right? I mean as part of rebuilding?

13 years folks of non competitive baseball. There are pieces there to go forward with not to build a contending team in the near future. JJ is a premier SS and the kind of tough player you want for a contending team.

Stop messing around McP (if you are). Sign him and then move on to the next hole to fill.

Looks like a number of decent 1B's coming on market next year so you can set up with C, 1B, SS, RF and CF solid. That's 5 of 8 starting position players. Be smart with the other 3 (I think 2B and LF can be more than serviceable). Keep JJ and move forward .. now

The O's should entertain offers for Hardy, but absolutely accept no garbage. A top-notch prospect or no go. I have had about enough of these Josh Bell kind of deals.

Also, everyone is missing the point about Scott and Reimold - they should both be playing and Guerrero should be the odd man out. He's done, especially in terms of power. Too bad he didn't have a great first half so that we could pawn him off somewhere for a quality prospect. Oh well, such goes life for the Baltimore Orioles.

Here we go again with the "let's trade JJ Hardy for some prospects" talk. When was the last time we traded somebody for a prospect and the new player turned out to be as good as the player we traded away? "Prospects" are the longest shot in baseball. The Norfolk roster is full of prospect humpties that we got in trades who never materialized into big league players. Now we have a guy in JJ Hardy who not only plays solid defense, but he also hits for average and power, and he likes it in Baltimore. He is a solid big league player and is the best shortstop to play in Baltimore since Cal Ripken (not counting the SS who was on the juice who quit hitting and fielding when he got off of it). Sorry to disappoint the Machado fans but we don't have anyone in the minors who is going to play in the majors at the JJ Hardy level, for at least the next 2-3 years. So please don't let MacPhail trade Hardy for a long shot "prospect" and then replace him with some 35 year old stop gap shortstop who hits .230 with no power, to a one year contract. How long do Baltimore fans have to be punished? Can't we just enjoy having a very competent and productive shortstop play here for the next 2-3 years, and then determine if we have someone in the minors that is ready to play? Lets don't go ahead with the Machado coronation too soon. How many times have we seen the Orioles management tout some minor leaguer as our next great hope, only to see the kid go bust? Here is one vote for keeping JJ Hardy.

Trade JJ Back to Milwaukee!! We loved him here and still do!


I'm not quite sure I get the criticism of the "Josh Bell" type of deal. Sure Bell hasn't developed into anything and I frankly have given up hope that he ever will, but when have you ever seen Andy give up a good player for a prospect? He traded George Sherrill in that Bell deal, and Sherrill has been a bum ever since. So he took a chance on the prospect and it didn't pan up, atleast to this point, but it's not like he's trading away players that set the world on fire elsewhere while we are stuck with 4A players.

Sign Hardy.
Trade Luke Scott, Reimold, pie, Guthrie, Tillman.
Get Jose Reyes and sign him.
Offseason- sign 2 veteran arms, sign Fielder and a veteran outfielder.
Put a competitive team on the field to compete with anyone, not just the east but the west too. 1b-$Fielder,2b-Hardy, ss-$reyes, 3b-reynolds, rf-markakis, cf-Jones, rf-$Upton, dh-Joe Mahoney

the orioles should not be linguring around with getting jj hardy to get him singed to a extension. the biggest thing is that that andy does not low ball him. where do the orioles stand in getting their # 1 2011 draft pick signed. if only they could see the light instead of $ signs that they are only hurting themselves by not getting a deal done.

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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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