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.
The Braves placed closer Arodys Vizcaino on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, per a team announcement on Sunday. The assignment is retroactive to June 21. While the right-hander will be eligible to return to the team within the week, it’s not clear yet how long his recovery will take.
Vizcaino, 27, has already been sidelined a week after experiencing discomfort in his right shoulder. While he was treated with a cortisone injection earlier this month, it doesn’t appear to have had the effect the Braves were hoping for. The injury derailed what has otherwise been a productive season for the right-hander: Through his first 30 appearances, he logged 15 saves with a 1.82 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 10.0 SO/9 over 29 2/3 innings. Per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, the club is prepared to give more closing duties to rookie left-hander A.J. Minter as Vizcaino takes some time to recover, though it seems conceivable that the up-and-coming Evan Phillips will earn a few looks in the spot as well.
In corresponding moves, infielder Phil Gosselin was designated for assignment and right-hander Phillips was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. The 23-year-old righty is poised to make his major league debut after four years in the Braves’ system. He currently sports a 2.31 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 12.9 SO/9 through 35 innings at the Triple-A level this season.