Thursday, December 9, 2010

Baltimore and Minnesota trade players

According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun the Minnesota Twins and the Baltimore Orioles have made a multi-player trade. The Twins shipped infielders J.J. Hardy, Brendan Harris and $500,000 in cash to the Orioles for minor league relievers James Hoey and Brett Jacobson.

In 2010 Hardy hit .268 with 6 HRs and 38 RBI. In 340 at-bats Hardy had 91 hits (19 2B/3 3B/6 HR) with 54 strikeouts and 28 walks. Defensively, Hardy had 11 errors for a fielding percentage of .972. Harris hit .157 with 1 HR and 4 RBI while playing 1B/3B/2B/SS/DH for the Twins.

According to Connolly:
Hoey, a 27-year-old right hander, had a combined 6-0 record with a 3.25 ERA in 42 outings between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. He made 35 appearances for the Orioles during the 2006 and 2007 seasons, going 3-5 with an 8.13 ERA. He missed all of 2008 with a right shoulder injury. The Orioles drafted him in the 13th round of 2003. He was put back on the 40-man roster earlier this offseason.

Jacobson, 24, went 8-1 with a 2.79 ERA in 34 relief appearances for Single-A Frederick. He was dealt to the Orioles in August 2009 in the trade that sent Aubrey Huff to the Detroit Tigers.

In terms of what the deal looks like for the Twins along with the anticipated signing of Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minnesota Star-Tribune gives his views on the deal:

1. Nishioka can play: One NL East scout saw Nishioka late in the season and called him another Kaz Matusi, which isn't good. But others think he can play in the majors.

2. Casilla will hold down a spot. It's time for Casilla to prove he can be an every day player. I will say this, Casilla might need a hug sometimes instead of tough love if he makes a mistake in the field.

Injuires to either player puts Matt Tolbert or Trevor Plouffe in the lineup.

The benefits are that the Twins have better speed and a tad more range up the middle. The money they save should help them re-sign Carl Pavano. And they get two hard throwers in Hoey and Jacobson. They also rid themselves of Harris and $1.75 million.

If Hoey and Nishioka perform well,it's a good deal. Hoey needs to throw more strikes

An interesting point-of-view on the Twins side of the trade comes from Jesse of the website:

But the money isn't for Hardy. The money is for Brendan Harris; about one third of what he'll be paid in 2011.

Instead, this is a deal about Hardy and the two arms the Twins are receiving in return: Brett Jacobson and Jim Hoey. Two career minor leaguers, two power arms, two guys who aren't getting paid more than the Major League minimum. Hoey, who will be the one who plays for the Twins if either of them do, offers a mid to upper-90s fastball as well as a changeup and slider. We talked this morning about his strikeout track record in the minor leagues: it's amazing. It looks like it's Anthony Slama-type amazing, but they're good numbers nevertheless. Jacobson, meanwhile, is projectable but 24 and about to pitch in double-A for the first time.

It's obvious that the Twins didn't like something about Hardy. If I can make it ever more plain: the Twins just didn't value Hardy. As an organization, they were clearly looking at the future and decided that Hardy wasn't going to be in their plans beyond 2011.

I'm not sure my friend Topper from Curve for a Strike blogpage would agree with this assessment. As it is he says on his Facebook page: Nothing really leads me to believe that either Alexi Casilla or Tsuyoshi Nishioka will be better than JJ Hardy this year. I don't think I'm on board with this move...

First things first Nishioki needs to be signed by the Twins. Rumors has it that Nishioki is on his way to the Twin Cities for his physical so the signing is imminent. Whether or not this signing benefits the Twins.


For Further Reading
- Click Here for access to J.J. Hardy's career statistics from Baseball
- Click Here for access to Brenden Harris' career statistics from Baseball
- Click Here for James Hoey's career statistics from
- Click Here for Brett Jacobson's career statistics from

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