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Updated: December 8th, 2010 1:22pm
Twins, O's talking Hardy; Smith doesn't need MLB player in a trade

Twins, O's talking Hardy; Smith doesn't need MLB player in a trade

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It sounds like things are heating up at the winter meetings for the Minnesota Twins.

While Twins general manager Bill Smith remains tight-lipped about any possible dealings, Orioles general manager Andy McPhail confirmed to Baltimore reporters that the two clubs have indeed discussed shortstop J.J. Hardy.

When asked later if the Twins would need to receive a major leaguer in a trade, Smith said, "Not necessarily."

"Sometimes you strengthen the organization, you strengthen your future... Sometimes you take the short-term hit if you can strengthen the organization long-term."

According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles could send two minor league pitchers to Minnesota, including right-handed reliever Brett Jacobson.

The Twins continue to negotiate with representatives for Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, and they remain committed to giving Alexi Casilla a shot at regular playing time. This combination could leave Hardy as the odd man out.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Alexi Casilla, J.J. Hardy
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