There has been chatter that the Orioles could make shortstop J.J. Hardy available at the trading deadline. There has been louder chatter, however, that they like Hardy and would try to lock him up. Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that, to that end, the Orioles are willing to go to three years on an extension.
The price they’re willing to pay isn’t known, but right now Hardy is making $5.85 million. He would be a free agent after this season if nothing happens. On the production side, Hardy is enjoying his best year, hitting .277/.336/.496 with 13 homers in 269 plate appearances.
Three years would take him through his age-31 season. Given the relative dearth of decent shortstops in baseball at the moment, there are way worse things on which the O’s could spend their money.
Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are close to acquiring pitcher Vidal Nuno from the Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Ryan Moseley.
Nuno, 29, went to the Dodgers from the Mariners in the Carlos Ruiz trade this past November. He and the Dodgers avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $1.125 million salary for the 2017 season. The left-hander finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.53 ERA and a 51/11 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings spanning one start and 54 relief appearances.
Nuno will provide the Orioles starting pitching depth and could serve as a valuable left-handed option out of the bullpen.
Moseley, 22, played his first season of professional baseball in the New York Penn League last year. In 12 relief appearances, he put up a 3.20 ERA and an 18/9 K/BB ratio across 19 2/3 innings. The Orioles selected him in the eighth round of the 2016 draft.
Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that Mets GM Sandy Alderson and second baseman Neil Walker‘s agent have been in contact about a contract extension as recently as Saturday. The extension is reportedly three years, including the 2017 season, and “north of $40 million,” according to Ackert’s source.
Walker, 31, accepted the Mets’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. He’s coming off one of the better seasons of his eight-year career, finishing with a .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line along with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. Walker’s season ended in late August as he underwent a lumbar microdisectomy.