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.

Cubs place Brandon Morrow on disabled list with biceps inflammation

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ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reports that the Cubs have placed closer Brandon Morrow on the 10-day disabled with inflammation in his right biceps. Manager Joe Maddon said he doesn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. He said, “Velocity was down last outing. I asked him about it after the game and could tell he was holding something back. Said it was just that time of year.”

Morrow, 33, has had an excellent season for the Cubs, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30 2/3 innings. The right-hander is under contract next year at $9 million and has a 2020 vesting option worth $12 million with a $3 million buyout.

Steve Cishek and Pedro Strop will likely handle save situations while Morrow is out.