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Updated: December 9th, 2010 12:36am
Twins trade Hardy and Harris to Orioles for two minor league pitchers

Twins trade Hardy and Harris to Orioles for two minor league pitchers

by Phil Mackey
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Minnesota Twins have agreed to trade shortstop J.J. Hardy, infielder Brendan Harris and $500,000 to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for right-handed minor league pitchers Brett Jacobson and Jim Hoey.

Hardy, who is set to make approximately $6 million through arbitration, batted .268/.320/.394 with six home runs and 38 RBI in 375 plate appearances for the Twins last season. He missed significant time with a lingering wrist injury.

In the second half of the season, however, Hardy hit .304/.363/.442. He was also rated as one of the top defensive shortstops in baseball according to Ultimate Zone Rating.

Harris scuffled out of the gate, hitting just .157/.233/.213 before eventually being taken off the 40-man roster.

With the upcoming addition of Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, and with the Twins committed to giving Alexi Casilla a shot to play regularly, Hardy became somewhat expendable in the eyes of Twins front office members.

He will now play for his third team in three years.

Jacobson, 24, has yet to pitch above Class-A. He posted a 2.79 ERA and 1.28 WHIP with 67 strikeouts, 24 walks and seven home runs allowed in 71 innings for High-A Frederick last season.

Hoey, who turns 28 in December, spent brief time in the majors as recently as 2007. He posted a 3.25 ERA and 1.35 WHIP with 70 strikeouts and 34 walks in 52 2/3 innings between Double- and Triple-A last year.

Both pitchers are reportedly hard-throwers.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd