Bartlett vs. Hardy vs. Izzy

The common feeling here among executives and scouts is that the Orioles are more likely to re-sign shortstop Cesar Izturis if they land a big bat at first base.

We can debate whether Adam LaRoche would constitute a big bat.

The Rays wanted reliever David Hernandez for Jason Bartlett, and they're still more interested in acquiring bullpen arms. Same with the Twins in any deal involving J.J. Hardy. It seems like every team here is looking for relievers.

Again, we go back to Hernandez's departure yesterday and how it could impact future moves this winter.

The Twins say they're willing to go into Opening Day with Hardy on the roster, but they'd much prefer to trade him once they sign Japanese shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka, as they're expected to do. They reportedly have a three-year offer on the table.

Talk to enough people, and you'll be reminded that Hardy has the better arm, Bartlett the better range. Hardy brings more pop. He hit 26 homers in 2007. Bartlett hit 14 in '09, but never topped five in any other season.

The Orioles appear to have more interest in Bartlett at the moment, since talks with the Rays continue despite the Hernandez trade. Izturis remains a possibility, and I won't remind you again of manager Buck Showalter's fondness for him.

The Orioles still have a lot of work to do on this roster after yesterday's trade. First base, shortstop, the bullpen, perhaps another starting pitcher. The Mark Reynolds trade was nice, but what have you done for me lately?

I'm heading back down to the lobby.


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