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.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.
And then there was one. One player from the 2008 World Series champs, that is. Ryan Howard likely isn’t going anywhere so he’ll be the last one to turn the lights off, but today Carlo Ruiz bid adieu to the Phillies following his trade to Los Angeles.
Lost in all of the emotions the Dodgers are reported to be feeling about A.J. Ellis leaving is the fact that Ruiz was one of the most beloved Phillies players ever, by both his teammates and their fans. Yesterday Roy Halladay penned a heartfelt goodbye to Ruiz, suggesting that he was every bit as essential to his and the Phillies’ success as Ellis has been to Clayton Kershaw (and in pure baseball production, obviously, quite more).
Today Chooch left a message for his now former teammates: