J.J. Hardy - Orioles shortstop

J.J. Hardy for Shelby Miller? That would have been an awesome deal for the Orioles.

CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reports that the O’s were in trade talks with the Cards for a deal revolving around the Gold Glove shortstop and young starting pitcher.

The news comes as no surprise, the Cardinals need a middle infielder and the Orioles need rotation help. St. Louis happens to have a plethora of young arms and the Birds have a stud shortstop. I wouldn’t be surprise to see a deal between the two teams — or at least more rumors like this one.

I was talking to my guy Jabby Burns this morning about this news and he asked “well, who plays shortstop?” My answer: “who cares, you just got Shelby freaking Miller!”

That’s not a real solution obviously, but I think the O’s will figure that out after they acquire a young stud for their starting rotation. The reality is, J.J. Hardy‘s value is as high as its ever going to be. He’s a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner, who has hit 30, 22 and 25 home runs over the past three seasons. He’ll hit around .260/.310/.420 and drive in around 75. For a shortstop, that’s incredibly valuable.

Miller went 15-9 over 31 starts in 173.1 innings pitched with a 3.06 ERA, 1.206 WHIP and 2.96 K/BB. He finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting behind Jose Fernandez and Yasiel Puig. Miller is 23 years old, 6′ 3″, 215 pounds, was drafted 19th overall in 2009 and is under team control until 2019.

All of that is enticing to the O’s.

I still think long-term Manny Machado is the Orioles solution at shortstop, his range is far too good to stay at third base. Dealing Hardy this winter might be disappointing to the fans, but a move could bring in the starter the O’s need to return to the postseason.