The Baltimore Orioles have acquired shortstop J.J. Hardy from the Minnesota Twins, with the deal expected to be announced in about an hour. That leaves the Pittsburgh Pirates without a shortstop upgrade, after Jason Bartlett was traded to the San Diego Padres yesterday.
This marks the second year in a row that the Pirates have tried to trade for Hardy. Last year they reportedly offered Matt Capps, only to see Hardy go to the Twins from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Carlos Gomez.
The Pirates selected shortstop Josh Rodriguez in the Rule 5 draft today, which could mean they will be going with Ronny Cedeno as their starter in 2011 and Rodriguez as a backup. The only other available shortstop option on the trade market is Brendan Ryan, who is strong defensively, but hot and cold on offense. Ryan would be a good gamble, and should be attainable since the St. Louis Cardinals replaced him with Ryan Theriot. He is also under control for three seasons, and if he does do well offensively, he would be an easy upgrade over Cedeno.