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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Orioles - Signed Hardy

Baltimore Orioles - Signed SS J.J. Hardy to a 3-year, $22 million contract.

The Orioles still have a number of decisions to make, but you can knock one off the list with the announcement of a contract extension with shortstop J.J. Hardy.  Hardy will earn $22 million over the next 3 years and receive a limited no-trade clause with his contract extension.

I’m on the same page as Keith Law on the need for the Orioles to blow up most of this team and the lack of wisdom in simply deciding that they were going to compete in 2011.

However, of all the players on the Orioles that the team needed to make a decision on, Hardy is probably the player you want to keep.  He’s one of those jack-of-all-trades players that does everything well without one specific aspect that stands out, so even having a terrific year Hardy won’t fetch anywhere near what a name player would.  The uncertainty of whether there will be free agent compensation in the next collective bargaining agreement also serves to slightly reduce his value to another team because his new team may lose the option of simply letting Hardy walk and collecting a supplemental draft pick.

At $22 million over 3 years (or just over $7 million a year), Hardy’s a decent bargain and you can always move a bargain.  Hardy does receive a limited no-trade clause, but if a team wants to move a player badly enough, they can generally convince a player with some kind of sweetener.  He’s also unlikely to block anybody in the Orioles farm system - Manny Machado is one of the best prospects in baseball, but he’s still just 18 and the Orioles have weak enough minor league depth that there will always be a place in the infield for Hardy to have significant value.  By the time Machado’s up in the majors, Mark Reynolds is unlikely to be playing third base if still on the team and Brian Roberts’s injuries leave his future in question.

There’s always the question of J.J. Hardy’s health, but unlike a player who misses years at a time, such as Nick Johnson, Hardy usually at least gets on the field most of the time.

The ZiPS projection system isn’t optimistic on Hardy’s playing time either (averaging under 502 PA a year), but it’s still enough to make him 7-8 wins above replacement over the next 3 seasons.  To get that kind of production elsewhere on the free agent market, you’re looking at something in the $30 million range.

While this is a good deal for Hardy, the big question remaining is what else the Orioles do this trade deadline.  Hardy’s worth keeping around, but most of the team isn’t.  If the O’s follow up this signing by deciding that the 2011 team was just unlucky and continue to simply bring in veterans on the margins, 2012 will look a lot like 2011.  If on the other hand, the Orioles choose to simply stand pat and hope everything just magically works out better in 2012, next year will look a lot like this year.  But call this signing a solid B+.

ZiPS Projections, J.J. Hardy
——————————————————————————————————————————-
Year       AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG OPS+  DR   WAR
——————————————————————————————————————————-
2012     462 58 123 22 2 16 54 36 80   0 .266 .320 .426 102   3   2.7
2013     443 55 118 22 2 15 52 33 73   0 .266 .318 .427 102   2   2.5
2014     428 52 112 21 2 14 49 32 66   0 .262 .314 .418   98   0   2.2  
——————————————————————————————————————————-
Top Near-Age Offensive Comps:  Brendan Harris, Bret Boone, Marco Scutaro

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: July 17, 2011 at 01:12 AM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: July 17, 2011 at 04:14 PM (#3879446)
Blowing up the Orioles is probably a good idea, but who will want what they're selling? What do they do with Vlad and Lee? Just release them?
   2. booond Posted: July 17, 2011 at 05:04 PM (#3879459)
Good deal by Orioles. Zips underestimates Hardy a little. If healthy, he could run to the 110 side of OPS+
   3. escabeche Posted: July 17, 2011 at 05:22 PM (#3879462)
If the O's follow up this signing by deciding that the 2011 team was just unlucky and continue to simply bring in veterans on the margins, 2012 will look a lot like 2011. If on the other hand, the Orioles choose to simply stand pat and hope everything just magically works out better in 2012, next year will look a lot like this year.


What's the difference between "2012 will look a lot like 2011" and "next year will look a lot like this year?"
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 17, 2011 at 07:01 PM (#3879502)
I don't know that a player like Hardy will net you that much in a trade. He's probably worth more to the O's than he is to anyone else aside from maybe Milwaukee if they're willing to overpay to bring him back.

Whether the O's get a lot better in 2012 will depend on whether their young arms get dramatically better or whether they really are teh suck. I am kinda amazed their offense is as bad as it is though. Seven of their nine starters are posting an OPS+ of 94 or above which is pretty decent. But Derrek Lee has been awful and Brian Roberts has been hurt. If they can get decent offense out of 1B (Nolan Reimold?) and Roberts comes back healthy AND everyone else still hits reasonably well, it seems like they should score more runs. Or is there problem too much mediocrity in the lineup and not enough stars?
   5. escabeche Posted: July 18, 2011 at 01:18 AM (#3879694)
Their offense just isn't that bad -- it's slightly below average. The reason they're losing is that they're giving up more runs than anybody else in the league, and it isn't close. Young starters, old relievers -- everybody not named Johnson or Uehara has been pretty damn bad.
   6. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 18, 2011 at 02:04 AM (#3879728)
Vlad was just put on the DL.

Whether the O's get a lot better in 2012 will depend on whether their young arms get dramatically better or whether they really are teh suck.


This. The Orioles expected improvement out of the pitchers; they haven't gotten it. I don't believe they really are all that bad - I think part of the issue here is that the Orioles' defense isn't particularly good.

-- MWE
   7. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 18, 2011 at 02:15 AM (#3879750)
The Pirates expected improvement out of the pitchers last year, and didn't get it. But look at them now!
   8. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: July 20, 2011 at 09:35 PM (#3882417)
Their offense just isn't that bad -- it's slightly below average. The reason they're losing is that they're giving up more runs than anybody else in the league, and it isn't close. Young starters, old relievers -- everybody not named Johnson or Uehara has been pretty damn bad.

And the defense is atrocious as Mike said. Simply moving Reynolds to DH next year would help a lot.

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