The Baltimore Orioles have re-signed shortstop J.J. Hardy to a three-year, $40 million deal that also includes a fourth year vesting option based on plate appearances. (MLB Trade Rumors)
I viewed Hardy as the best available shortstop on the free agent market this winter. With him gone, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jed Lowrie now head a relatively lackluster group. (Hanley Ramirez, of course, is one of the premier players available this winter, but I don’t really see him as a shortstop at this stage of his career – a position change is coming soon for him.)
Cabrera, currently the second baseman for the Washington Nationals, may not be a shortstop for much longer either. He told reporters that he’s willing to remain at second to stay with the Nats as long as they make the right offer. (NatsInsider)
I don’t think Hardy was coming to the Mets — it’s tough to imagine another eight-figure salary fitting into Sandy Alderson‘s budget. I did think Hardy might be a good fit for the Yankees, who still need someone to replace Derek Jeter.
It’s a good time to be a team that has a shortstop or a major league-ready shortstop prospect to deal. It’s a bad time to be a team that needs one.