UPDATE: The deal is now official. Hardy, Brendan Harris, and $500,000 in cash for Hoey and Jacobson.
The Orioles are trade-happy.
Not satisfied with acquiring Mark Reynolds from the Diamondbacks on Monday, they are now a couple of routine physicals away from landing shortstop J.J. Hardy and utility infielder Brendan Harris from the Twins.
This all comes via Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, who suspects that pitchers Brett Jacobson and Jim Hoey will be shipped to Minnesota in return.
Jacobson, 24, posted a 2.79 ERA and 1.28 WHIP over 71 innings this year at high Single-A Fredrick. He’s a promising 6-foot-6 righty, and could be throwing middle relief innings for the big league Twins in a season-and-a-half. Hoey, a 27-year-old right-hander, had 32 strikeouts in 21.1 innings this year at Triple-A. He has a bit of experience in the majors and may be ready for another look.
That’s not a package that is going to make a dent in the Orioles’ farm system. Jacobson and Hoey might become nice relievers, but Baltimore did well here.
It wasn’t long ago that Hardy was a highly productive shortstop. He had down years in 2009 and 2010, but he slugged 24 homers in 2008 and he doesn’t turn 29 years old until next August. Maybe things will be better for him in Baltimore.
Harris is a throw-in. He’s 30 years old and had a 446 OPS across 108 at-bats this year. Minnesota was his seventh organization — if the trade goes through as it’s being reported Baltimore will be his eighth.
The Twins were looking to trade Hardy this winter in order to avoid the nearly $7 million that he stands to earn next season via salary arbitration. They still need to pay Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka and have been considering retaining free agent starter Carl Pavano. If Hardy’s salary is moved to the Orioles’ pockets, it’s game on with Pavano.
UPDATE: (11:36 AM EDT, Wednesday): The deal has been announced by both clubs. The A’s will be receiving left-handed pitcher Colt Hynes. Hynes is 31. He’s pitches seven games in the big leagues and has spent ten years in the minors with a 3.62 ERA in 456 games, almost all in relief.
Update (7:49 AM EDT, Wednesday): Susan Slusser hears word that, yes, the deal is official.
Update (7:20 PM EDT): John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reports that Crisp has indeed been traded, but there won’t be an official announcement until Wednesday. Crisp has already left the Athletics’ clubhouse.
Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the Athletics and Indians are making progress on a trade that would send outfielder Coco Crisp to Cleveland. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports confirms Adams’ report. Crisp, who has 10-and-5 rights, has waived them in order to facilitate a deal.
Crisp, 36, is owed the remainder of his $11 million salary for the 2016 season and has a $13 million option for the 2017 season that vests if he reaches 550 plate appearances or plays in 130 games this season. He has already played in 102 games and logged 434 PA, batting .234/.299/.399 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI.
The Indians are still looking to bolster the outfield. Michael Brantley is expected to miss the rest of the season, Bradley Zimmer may not yet be ready for the majors, and Abraham Almonte is not eligible to play in the postseason after testing positive for boldenone in February.
I met some guy on a hike a couple of months ago who used to be married to a close friend or a cousin or something of Indians pitcher Zach McAllister. I forget the details but it was some tenuous relationship like that. No different than a lot of brush-with-fame stories you get from Triple-A towns like Columbus, where McAllister spent some time.
Anyway, the guy met McAllister a couple of times. They didn’t really talk about much but the guy said he remembers McAllister talking about just how hard baseball was. In terms of the skills required and the mastery of it even if you are blessed with those skills. And, of course, the mental strain of it all when you’re at that place, as McAllister was at the time, when your career can either be made or broken by what the big club thinks of you. He was 22 or 23 then, and if he hadn’t been called up soon, he might’ve gone from prospect to organizational guy and that’s a lot of money left on the table.
Anyway, the point of it all was that this guy I was hiking with — not a big baseball fan — was super impressed with McAllister and said he hadn’t thought about just how hard professional sports were to even the guys who are insanely gifted at playing professional sports. I don’t think most of us think about that as much as we probably should.
Then again, sometimes players make it look easy. Like McAllister did last night when he threw a pitch to Kurt Suzuki, kicked the line drive that was hit back to him into the air and caught it on the fly: