Tracking down the Hardy rumor

It's the hot stove season and that means lots and lots of rumors and speculation. They make great stocking stuffers.

The Orioles have expressed some level of interest in Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello, according to multiple reports. The two sides have talked.

I've been asked about the rumor that the Orioles might send J.J. Hardy to the Tigers for Porcello and infielder Jhonny Peralta. I'm not privy to every conversation held by executive vice president Dan Duquette, but my guess is he has no intention of dealing his Gold Glove shortstop.

This article on MLive.com pondered whether such a deal could be consummated. The exact wording was, "Could the Tigers package Porcello and Peralta for Hardy, as The Detroit News' Lynn Henning suggested on Twitter today?"

Just posing a question. Not saying it was likely to happen.

I checked Henning's tweet, which read, "Mulling possibilities for Tigers: Porcello/Peralta to O's: Peralta goes to 3B, Machado moves to SS. Orioles kill 2 birds. Tigers get a SS"

Henning, one of the most respected reporters in the business and a really good guy, also tweeted, "Makes sense from Det. perspective. But Orioles really love Hardy."

Folks, this is purely speculation. The trade proposal isn't being sourced. It doesn't appear to be coming from either front office. It's thinking out loud, which is fine. Happens all the time during the winter months.

It would be a huge surprise if the Orioles moved Hardy and handed the shortstop job to Manny Machado in 2013. He's a favorite of Duquette and manager Buck Showalter. He's their most reliable glove. He's a key reason why Machado made such a swift and smooth transition to third base.

The Orioles are looking to add another starting pitcher. They're not looking to tinker with the left side of the infield. But we'll see what happens. I've been wrong before and I'm pretty sure it's going to happen again before the world ends.

Special thanks to the readers who shared the MLive.com link with me. Ask and you shall receive.

Note: Another day brings another independent league signing.

The Lincoln Saltdogs of the American Association announced that the Orioles have purchased the contract of left-handed reliever David Quinowski.

Quinowski, 26, pitched for two American Association teams and Somerset of the Atlantic League in 2012. He was 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings over 32 games with Lincoln and Gary SouthShore of the AA.

Quinowski pitched for Double-A Richmond in 2011, going 4-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 40 games. The Giants selected him in the 46th round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft out of Redlands (Ca.) High School.

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