The Baltimore Orioles are not looking to move shortstop J.J. Hardy this off-season, at least not if manager Buck Showalter has any say. When asked about the possibility by Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com, the skipper was adamantly against the idea, saying "What’s the word above overwhelmed? Stunned?"
Hardy has drawn interest from the Detroit Tigers and the Orioles do have another option at shortstop in Manny Machado, but Showalter still believes in Hardy. "I like J.J. He's pretty good and he's going to have a big offensive year for us this year," the manager said. The 30 year old Hardy hit a paltry .238/.282/.389 in 712 plate appearances last year, but he provided Gold Glove defense at short, saving 11.4 runs by Ultimate Zone Rating.
"We've kicked the tires on all of them. We do. We go, 'Yeah, we could get this guy, for instance, and we'd have to give up Machado and (Jonathan) Schoop and (Dylan) Bundy.' Well, of course you wouldn't do that. Those types of things."
Showalter also expressed interest in bringing back Joe Saunders, but at this point, he says there is still "separation" between the two sides.
The Orioles have yet to make anything that would qualify as an upgrade after their surprising 93 win season in 2012, but Showalter says management is not afraid to make a deal:
"Nobody's afraid to make a deal here. Trust me. Trust me. It's just, we've got to get the right one.We have conversations every day. I'd like to say, 'Hey, here's what we talked about today. Weigh in on that.' Ninety-nine percent of it, you would go, 'Of course you wouldn't do that.' You've got to get cooperation."