According to MASN’s Roch Kubatko via twitter, the Baltimore Orioles have fielded several calls from teams inquiring on the availability of shortstop J.J. Hardy. Per Kubatko, the Orioles have no interest in moving him, nor are they inclined to move him. The team showing the most interest appears to be the Detroit Tigers as they are actively shopping SP Rick Porcello around the league, mainly for a shortstop.
Hardy, originally a second round draft choice of the Milwaukee Brewers back in the 2001 MLB Draft, spent his first five years in MLB with the Brewers. During his five year tenure in Milwaukee. Hardy mashed 75 homers and drove in 265 runs. Upon the conclusion of the 2009 season, Hardy was traded from the Brewers to the Minnesota Twins for speedy CF, Carlos Gomez. Hardy played one year in Minnesota, hitting 6 homers and driving in 38 runs. He was traded at the end of the season to the Baltimore Orioles, along with INF, Brenden Harris and $500,000 for minor league pitching prospects Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobsen.
The Orioles are coming off their first playoff appearance since the 1995 season and Hardy was a big part of that, having clubbed 22 homers and driving in 68 runs while winning his first Gold Glove. His batting average dropped into the .220′s, but Hardy is still considered one of the best all around shortstops in the league with the ability to field well and hit for power. If the Orioles do decide to move him, they need to be ready to replace his bat and gold glove defense and receive a package that’s too good to turn down for a player that helped them to their first postseason berth in 17 years.