Orioles “are in serious negotiations” for J.J. Hardy

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Yesterday the Orioles were said to be close to sending Nolan Reimold to the Rays for Jason Bartlett, but that deal fell through and Baltimore’s shortstop search has moved on to J.J. Hardy.

According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun the Orioles “are in serious negotiations” to acquire the Twins shortstop and are offering up a pair of minor-league pitchers, one of whom is believed to be 24-year-old reliever Brett Jacobson.

Minnesota has been shopping Hardy since winning the exclusive negotiating rights to Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Baltimore has been linked to nearly every available shortstop for the past month, so the deal would certainly make sense.

By trading Hardy the Twins would be placing a lot of trust in both Nishioka and Alexi Casilla as their new middle infield duo, but Ron Gardenhire and company apparently soured on Hardy despite his excellent defense and above-average offense for the position.

Report: Nationals sign reliever Brandon Kintzler to a two-year deal

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Both a Kinsler and a Kintzler made headlines at the Winter Meetings. After the Angels acquired second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Nationals have inked reliever Brandon Kintzler to a two-year contract, pending a physical.

Kintzler, 33, spent the latter half of his 2017 campaign with the Nationals after the Twins traded him. Between both clubs, he put up an aggregate 3.03 ERA with 29 saves and a 39/16 K/BB ratio in 71 1/3 innings.

Sean Doolittle will handle save situations for the Nationals. Kintzler and Ryan Madson will bridge the gap to him in the seventh and eighth innings.