The Arizona Diamondbacks recently traded veteran shortstop Stephen Drew to the Oakland Athletics, and the club has said that it will be on the hunt for a replacement this off-season. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic lists several teams that could have shortstops available, including the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals:
The Rangers have Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar. The Blue Jays have Escobar and Hechavarria. The Reds have three guys: Cozart, Didi Gregorius and Billy Hamilton. Of those names, Profar, Hechavarria and Hamilton would figure to be the hardest to pry away.
The Nationals might also have depth, depending on whether you believe Danny Espinosa is shortstop; he does rate highly in defensive metrics, for what that’s worth.
Another possibility could be the Orioles, who have right now have Manny Machado playing third with Hardy at short.
Of all the options Piecoro lists, he believes J.J. Hardy "makes a ton of sense." He says Arizona could target Hardy as a "buy-low" stopgap until prospect Chris Owings is ready for the majors.
Hardy has had a down season following his 2011 resurgence (twenty-seven doubles, thirty home runs) with the Orioles, but he’s still solid defensively and just turned 30 years old. He’s set to make $7 million per season in 2013-14, and he owns a career line of .258/.314/.426.
Which shortstop option for the Diamondbacks target?