Tag:J.J. Hardy
Posted on: March 22, 2011 10:14 pm
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3 up, 3 down for 3/22: Fox strikes again

Jake Fox

By C. Trent Rosecrans

3 UP

1. Orioles bats -- Jake Fox, pictured, hit his eighth homer of the spring for Baltimore, but he wasn't alone in peppering Yankees pitching on Tuesday. Luke Scott hit a shot over the scoreboard in right-center. J.J. Hardy also homered. The Orioles are slugging .445 this spring, the best mark by an American League team in Florida. The Phillies at .447 are the only Grapefruit League team with a better slugging percentage.

2. Wandy Rodriguez, Astros -- Sidelined the last two weeks with left shoulder tendinitis, Houston's left-hander allowed three hits and an unearned run in four innings, throwing 40 strikes in 60 pitches. Rodriguez is scheduled to start again on Sunday and then face Cliff Lee in the Astros' second game of the regular season.

3. Travis Buck, Indians -- The Indians outfielder had two homers in Tuesday's game against the Diamondbacks, raising his spring total to four. He had four total homers in 177 at-bats between the minors and the A's last season.

3 DOWN

1. Adam Dunn, White Sox -- Chicago's new slugger struck out three times on Tuesday in an 0-for-4 performance, giving him 22 strikeouts this spring. He's hitting .208/.311/.358 this spring with one homer in a team-leading 53 at-bats.

2. Mike Leake, Reds -- The day after it looked like Leake had his ticket to Cincinnati punched thanks to Johnny Cueto's injury, the A's took BP on the Reds' right-hander. Leake gave up single runs in each of the first two innings on Tuesday and then allowed five in the third, while recording only one out. In all he gave up six hits, seven earned runs, walked four and saw his ERA rise to 9.39. Daric Barton and Coco Crisp both hit solo homers off of Leake.

3. Welington Castillo, Cubs -- A rough day for Castillo, who nearly beat out an infield single, but showed his catchers speed and was thrown out in his only plate appearance of the day. Sure, lots of folks went 0 for 1 on Tuesday, but not many saw their average drop from .706 to .667. Castillo has 12 hits in 18 at-bats, plus two walks, so his on-base percentage is still .700. For those of you not used to that statistic, it's officially "not too bad."

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Posted on: December 16, 2010 9:43 am
Edited on: December 16, 2010 9:43 am
 

Twins, Nishioka appear close

Signs point to the Twins closing in on a deal with Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, as the Pioneer-Press reports he is scheduled to be in Minneapolis on Thursday morning, presumably for a physical. General manager Bill Smith would not confirm the report.

"I'm not commenting on any of that," Smith said. "We're still in discussions and negotiations. As I've been saying, we think he can help us, and I'm very optimistic we can sign him."

The Twins won the posting for Nishioka, 26, the 2010 Japanese batting champion, for a reported $5 million. They have until December 26 to negotiate a deal with him, and previous reports have had him around three years at $10 million. The Twins traded last year's starting shortstop, J.J. Hardy, to the Orioles last week, which seems to indicate they're confident the Nishioka deal is going to get done.

Nishioka has won Gold Gloves at both shortstop and second base, and could play either for the Twins. It seems most likely he'll play shortstop, with Alexi Casilla manning second.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 11, 2010 9:30 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2010 9:33 pm
 

Report: Twins target Cards' Ryan

Brendan Ryan Seeking to bolster their middle infield -- and perhaps covering their bets in case they can't reach agreement with Tsuyoshi Nishioka -- the Twins are attempting to trade for the Cardinals' Brendan Ryan, a source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

Minnesota just traded shortstop J.J. Hardy to the Orioles, and has Alexi Casilla as its best current option. The Twins are expected to bring in Nishioka, who they are negotiating with through Japan's posting system, but Ryan would add depth at shortstop and second base. He was displaced when the Cardinals acquired Ryan Theriot as their everyday shortstop.

Ryan, 28, had a terrible 2010 at the plate, perhaps related to offseason wrist surgery, seeing his average drop 69 points to .223. But his real value is in the field, where he is as good as they get.

No word on what the Cardinals want in return for Ryan.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 10, 2010 4:49 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2010 4:49 pm
 

Izturis returning to O's

Cesar Izturis
The Orioles gave away his starting shortstop job, but Cesar Izturis will return as a utility player. The Baltimore Sun reports that he has agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal, which is pending a physical.

J.J. Hardy, acquired from the Twins, is Baltimore's starting shortstop, and the team also acquired Brendan Harris in that deal. But manager Buck Showalter reportedly likes Izturis, 30, for his versatility and clubhouse presence. Orioles fans will like seeing him at the plate far less often -- his .545 OPS last season was the lowest among American League regular players by 54 points.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 9, 2010 10:12 am
Edited on: December 9, 2010 11:56 am
 

Orioles acquire J.J. Hardy

Hardy The Orioles will have a new shortstop at noon, as Twins GM Bill Smith tells Kelly Thesier of MLB.com that the deal is done. Orioles GM Andy MacPhail concurred to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun .

J.J. Hardy will be traded to Baltimore along with infielder Brendan Harris in exchange for pitchers Brett Jacobson and James Hoey.

Hardy will be the O's new shortstop at around $7 million through arbitration while Harris should fill a utility spot at $1.75 million. Hardy can pick it with the glove but has struggled in recent years with the bat after back-to-back seasons of over 20 home runs for the Brewers. Harris doesn't have much of a stick but can play multiple infield positions.

The deal frees up quite a bit of money for the Twins, who can use the added money to sign Tsuyoshi Nishioka, whom they acquired from Japan via the posting process.

Jacobson figures to pitch in the minors, but Hoey could potentially fill a role in the bullpen.

-- Evan Brunell

UPDATE: The Twins have officially announced the deal: Hardy, Harrison and cash to Baltimore for Hoey and Jacobsen.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 8, 2010 2:20 pm
 

Orioles deep in talks for Hardy

Hardy The Orioles are speaking to the Twins about acquiring shortstop J.J. Hardy after trade talks broke down with the Rays for Jason Bartlett.

As the report from the Baltimore Sun 's Jeff Zrebiec (via Dan Connolly) reveals, the Orioles would ship two minor-league pitchers to Minnesota for Hardy, with one of the pitchers being Brett Jacobson.

Hardy hit just .268/.320/.394 for the Twins in 375 plate appearances, missing time with injury. When he was on the field, he was one of the better defensive shortstops in the game and at just age 28, can't be ruled out of returning to his previous levels of offense when he banged 26 home runs for the Brewers in 2007. He is due a raise from $5.1 million in his final year of arbitration, which may make him overpaid.

The Orioles have been searching for a shortstop to replace Cesar Izturis and value defense, but want to upgrade at offense.

Jacobson did not rank on Baseball America 's Top 10 Orioles prospects, but did post a 2.79 ERA in 71 relief innings for high-Class A Frederick. While he was old for that level at age 23, Jacobson looks like he could emerge into a solid reliever.

Minnesota would likely replace Hardy's production at short with Alexi Casilla. It's unclear what the Twins would then do to replace Casilla at second, but there are several options in free agency.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 4, 2010 3:37 pm
 

Twins' Hardy in demand

J.J. Hardy Twins general manager Bill Smith could be busy in Florida this week, as shortstop J.J. Hardy is still in demand as a trade candidate. "About six" teams have talked to the Twins about Hardy in recent weeks, the Star Tribune 's La Velle E. Neal III reports .

Neal speculates that the Astros, Cardinals, Giants, Padres, Pirates and Orioles are interested in Hardy, who finished his first season in Minnesota hitting .268/.320/.394 with six home runs and 38 RBIs in 101 games.

The Twins will be looking for a "quality reliever" or a "speed" player in return for Hardy, 28.

The Twins are negotiation with Japanese second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka and would play Alexi Casilla at shortstop. Minnesota needs to bolster a bullpen that's likely to lose Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier to free agency.

The free agent shortstop market was incredibly thin, with an aging Derek Jeter as the best one on the market, while shortstops available via trade are mostly overpaid and old.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 29, 2010 1:17 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2010 4:48 pm
 

Report: Uribe to Dodgers

Juan Uribe Fresh off a successful postseason run with the champion Giants (and a $317,000 postseason bonus ), infielder Juan Uribe appears set to join the rival Dodgers. Rumors of the Dodgers' interest have been around for a while, and ESPN.com reports they are close to a three-year deal.

Uribe batted .248/.310/.440 with 24 homers and 85 RBI during the regular season, and drove in nine runs in the postseason. He's a strong defender, especially considering he'll likely make a move from shortstop to second base, where his range is less problematic, in Los Angeles.

This probably means the Dodgers will non-tender Ryan Theriot, who was disappointing after being traded to the Dodgers along with Ted Lilly at the trade deadline. It also adds the Giants to the shortstop market, where they could go after Jason Bartlett or J.J. Hardy.

UPDATE: Various reports say the deal is worth $21 million for three years. If I'm a Dodgers fan, I'm not sure I like this signing.

-- David Andriesen

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