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St Louis Post-Dispatch : Best Shortstop Fit for the Cardinals is JJ Hardy


jamesenoch

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http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bird-bytes-cards-search-takes-sharp-turn/article_04eb8817-658e-5571-88e0-7970aead2b04.html

The Best Fit: That would be Baltimore's J.J. Hardy. He has proven home-run power. He hits lefthanded pitching. In 2013 he pulled off the exacta of winning the Silver Slugger and the Gold Glove. He has one year remaining on his contract. That's either good or bad, depending on Mozeliak's perspective. The problem is that the Orioles and the Baltimore media _ at least for now _ apparently believe the world as we know it would come to an end _ or at least all of the blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay would disappear _ if the team took the ungodly, unimaginable action of trading Hardy. The Orioles need starting pitching in the worst way, and Mozeliak has a few arms to show them. But unless the Orioles put down the Kool Aid and come to their senses, there's no deal.

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I don't think it qualifies as "Kool Aid" if the guy won both a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove in the same year...

Add in the fact that we would be opening a hole the size of the Grand Canyon at either 3B or SS by trading him and I don't think it's that outrageous that the Orioles would be a little reluctant to move him and therefore ask a lot in return.

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Dear Bernie,

Hardy is all yours... providing you aren't suffering delusions he will come without the very top options of those "few arms".

TOP options. Puts a LOT of pressure on DD to make this deal because he has to fill either SS or 3B then. With a Buck certified defender, AND on budget. Hardy only adds $7 mill. Might get you a no-hit SS. No 3Bman you'd play every day.

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Drew is a much better fit. Why trade top SP prospects for a one year rental?

Why sign a two year guy to a four year deal. And give up a pick that you have turned into Wacha before. That makes no sense. As well as paying an extra six million this year.

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I think Hardy would be a great fit for them, but they aren't giving up Miller in a deal for Hardy unless we're including some additional pieces.

The Cards can give up some additional pieces. That would be fine. And Miller is the only centerpiece that the O's should accept.

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The Cards can give up some additional pieces. That would be fine. And Miller is the only centerpiece that the O's should accept.

There is no way the Cards trade Miller for one year of Hardy. We would have to add to the package.

I would consider Lynn for one year of Hardy for sure.

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http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bird-bytes-cards-search-takes-sharp-turn/article_04eb8817-658e-5571-88e0-7970aead2b04.html

The Best Fit: That would be Baltimore's J.J. Hardy. He has proven home-run power. He hits lefthanded pitching. In 2013 he pulled off the exacta of winning the Silver Slugger and the Gold Glove. He has one year remaining on his contract at only $7 million. That's either good or bad, depending on Mozeliak's perspective. The problem is that the Cardinals and the St. Louis media _ at least for now _ apparently believe the world as we know it would come to an end _ or at least all of the fish in the Mississippi River would disappear _ if the team took the ungodly, unimaginable action of trading what it would take to get Hardy. The Cardinals need a shortstop in the worst way, and Mozeliak has a few arms to replace what it takes in trade to get Hardy. But unless the Cardinals put down the Kool Aid and come to their senses, there's no deal.

Fixed the typos in the article. :)

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Let's get this straight. The odds of that pick turning into what Wacha looked like this year are slim and none.

You say, why turn a 2 year guy (Drew) into a 4 year contract, but why trade anything significant for a one year guy, who you'd have to turn into a 4 year guy to retain him?

True, but the other Cardinals first round pick last year netted Stephen Piscotty, probably the organization's minor league player of the year.

I'll concede serendipity on Wacha and Piscotty, but I think there's justification for the Cardinals valuing their first round picks a little higher than other teams. (There is also a history of getting more out their later picks.)

We had a discussion about that over on the Cardinals forum and I think the consensus was that an average first round pick was worth about $4M. We also agreed there should be some kind of a "lost draft pick discount" on the Drew contract, but disagreed on how large it is likely to be. Personally, I think the history with Boras clients is that they hold out until he gets the exorbitant contract he's after. In other words, any "lost draft pick discount" will be more than offset by the deal Boras will get for Drew.

MLB Tonight estimated a $10M AAV for Drew, which probably included some kind of discount for the draft pick. I think that's too high for him. I'd probably be OK at $26M/3yr with a $10M option with a $1M buyout for 2017, but I think Drew's contract will be at least $10-20M higher.

As for JJ Hardy, I'd love to have him in 2014 but I'd be really angry if Mozeliak gave up Miller or Lynn for him unless there were other players as part of the package. I'd trade Lynn and Freeze for Hardy and a prospect if Hardy agreed to a 2-3 year extension prior to the trade being finalized.

The Cardinals do have other high value pitching prospects besides Wacha, Miller, Rosenthal, and Martinez. It's entirely possible that Lynn, Siegrist, Lyons, Gast, and/or Swaggerty will end up with more productive careers than any of the top four.

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There is no way the Cards trade Miller for one year of Hardy. We would have to add to the package.

I would consider Lynn for one year of Hardy for sure.

The O's in order to get full value for Hardy would no doubt either sign Hardy to an extension before the trade or give the Cards a window to sign Hardy before the trade is complete.

I could see Miller and Freese for Hardy and a minor leaguer like a Bridwell.

The Cards have Carpenter to take over 3B and Wong a 2nd base. Freese had a down year last year but has hit well in the past. He is not the defensive player that the O's would like but the O's ended up in the middle of the pack with one of the best defensive team in history. They need to improve the pitching and hitting.

Whether Flaherty or Freese is the best 3rd would be something the O's would have to figure out. Freese is a good enough hitter to DH if he gets beat out at 3rd.

Adding Miller and Freese would be cheaper than keeping Hardy for the next 4 years. And heaven knows the O's are always considering the money.

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True, but the other Cardinals first round pick last year netted Stephen Piscotty, probably the organization's minor league player of the year.

I'll concede serendipity on Wacha and Piscotty, but I think there's justification for the Cardinals valuing their first round picks a little higher than other teams. (There is also a history of getting more out their later picks.)

We had a discussion about that over on the Cardinals forum and I think the consensus was that an average first round pick was worth about $4M. We also agreed there should be some kind of a "lost draft pick discount" on the Drew contract, but disagreed on how large it is likely to be. Personally, I think the history with Boras clients is that they hold out until he gets the exorbitant contract he's after. In other words, any "lost draft pick discount" will be more than offset by the deal Boras will get for Drew.

MLB Tonight estimated a $10M AAV for Drew, which probably included some kind of discount for the draft pick. I think that's too high for him. I'd probably be OK at $26M/3yr with a $10M option with a $1M buyout for 2017, but I think Drew's contract will be at least $10-20M higher.

As for JJ Hardy, I'd love to have him in 2014 but I'd be really angry if Mozeliak gave up Miller or Lynn for him unless there were other players as part of the package. I'd trade Lynn and Freeze for Hardy and a prospect if Hardy agreed to a 2-3 year extension prior to the trade being finalized.

The Cardinals do have other high value pitching prospects besides Wacha, Miller, Rosenthal, and Martinez. It's entirely possible that Lynn, Siegrist, Lyons, Gast, and/or Swaggerty will end up with more productive careers than any of the top four.

You are really overvaluing your back-up players. It isn't realistic to expect other teams to trade top-flight players for your table scraps. Especially a shortstop, as that has always been a tough hole to fill. Simple as that. If the Cardinals are unwilling to trade what is realistic for a top shortstop, they need to stop talking trade and start negotiating in earnest with free agents, as that is really the only other option available to them which will get them a top shortstop.

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