(or so I would guess)
Twins Geek: Time for some Hot Stove Chatter. Yesterday, Jon Paul Morosi of …
Geek Chorus: Well, what is he “of” exactly? I always hear “of FOX Sports”, but his post is on a blog at YardBarker.com. Is YardBarker.com owned by Fox Sports? On their home page, they say “with FoxSports.com on MSN.” What the hell does that mean? Are we just adding random prepositions to businesses now?
And on YardBarker.com’s front page they have a big button that says “SPORTS BLOGGERS! JOIN OUT NETWORK!” So could you be Twins Geek of FoxSports.com? Or better yet, Twins Geek of TwinsCentric via StarTribune.com through YardBarker.com with FoxSports.com on MSN? Just by clicking THAT EXCITING BUTTON?
Wow. You are this close to being titled by a half dozen media empires. I’m so excited for you.
Thanks. Anyhoo, yesterday, Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com reported that the Pittsuburgh Pirates “have interest in Tampa Bay’s Jason Bartlett and Minnesota’s JJ Hardy.” He also said both are available via trade.
Geek Chorus: And odds are they are at super low, LOW discount prices today, since the Twins need to decide whether to non-tender Hardy today (provided you’re reading this on Thursday). You can talk all you want about the new stadium, the Twins are still a business, and a fairly conservatively run business at that. Pohlad businesses like to stay within their budgets. This should not be a shocking revelation. We have rougly 463 years of data to support this.
But the last thing the Twins want is to get into a limbo contest (“how low can you go?”) against the Rays when dealing with the Pirates.
Geek Chorus: Agreed. My gawd, they’re the Pirates. Have some pride.
Right. So let’s take a quick look at who some possible trading partners might be for Mr. Hardy’s services.
#4. San Diego Padres – The only problem with the Padres is they’re cheap. They also have a 24-year-old named Everth Cabrera who they sure would like to not suck, but unfortunately last year, he did. They were desperate enough at the trade deadline to trade for Miguel Tejada and his walker and set them up at shortstop. And the Padres supposedly talked to Tejada this offseason, too, so they must like older expensive guys.
Geek Chorus: That’s crazy. Can you imagine anyone thinking Tejada could still play shortstop? Ludicrous.
#3 Pittsburgh Pirates – I’m a little surprised that the Pirates would consider Hardy’s contract, so I don’t expect much of a return if a trade goes down. After all, last year they traded for Akinori Iwamura’s $4.5M option, and all the Pirates gave up was middle reliever Jesse Chavez, who has been traded twice since and posted a 5.89 ERA last year. So forget about getting Joel Hanrahan or even Evan Meek. You might get Chris Resop or ex-Tigers castoff Wil Ledezma.
Geek Chorus: I’ll say this about Pirates GM Neal Huntington - he sure seems to know how to acquire and test a bunch of young arms on the cheap. And maybe turn them into some real players.
#2 Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles had Cesar Izturis at short, who I think started the year with a ton of praise. You can guess how that went. Actually you probably can’t – it was that bad. Beyond normal words kinda bad.
Geek Chorus: Some might say his batting was “Buterrible.”
Usually, one wouldn’t expect the Orioles, a team clearly trying to build through youth, to pick up a veteran player on a one-year deal. But the Orioles are showing they have some money to spend this offseason, including making a “significant offer” to Paul Konerko. If they’re in on Konerko, why wouldn’t they be in on Hardy?
Geek Chorus: I’m trying to think of a better sound then the wailing and gnashing of teeth from White Sox fans if Konerko signed with the Orioles. Maybe the sound bites of Kenny Williams subtly (but publicly) questioning Konerko’s desire? Or Ozzie Guillen tweeting in Spanish about how much Williams is paying Mark Teahan? Or AJ Pierzynski cackling as he takes the money they could’ve spent on a real player? My gawd, it’s a symphony of angst. Please, lord, make this happen. I don’t ask for much.
#1 Houston Astros – This organization if for sale, seems to have no idea of the value of a dollar and their shortstop last year was something named “Manzella.”
Geek Chrous: Which is EXACTLY the name I would create to mock a slightly-built, terrible hitting middle infielder. Man-ZELLA!
Well, he’s 6’ 2”, but he did have the distinct honor of having a lower OPS than Drew Butera last year.
The Astros also seem to evaluate player value nearly randomly. I’m not going to lie – this idea makes me giddy. This would have the potential to be a Liriano/Nathan/Bonser for AJ kind of heist. Please lord, make this happen. I don’t ask for much.