Some solid moves by the O’s

Can’t a guy even get five hours of sleep around here.

Around 6 p.m. yesterday, Andy MacPhail said he thought there would not be any moves last night. Guess he meant other than the contract for Koji Uehara and the trade for J.J. Hardy. Other than that, the last few hours have been quiet.

We’ve had seemingly nonstop rumors about the O’s for two days and the news comes practically overnight. Hope they don’t get the idea to start scheduling their games now at midnight.

Anyway, if the price is Brett Jacobsen and Jim Hoey for Hardy and Brendan Harris, the O’s seem to have made a good deal. We’ll see if Hoey’s strong pitching in 2010, after which he was reinstated to the 40-man roster, continues in 2011. Jacobsen, who was acquired for Aubrey Huff, remember that one, had a solid season last year in the minors.

But the O’s needed to fill the shortstop hole with someone and Hardy did once hit more than 20 homers. He hit 26 in 2007 and 24 in 2008. I understand he has had some injury issues, limiting him to 115 and 101 games the last two years. He batted .268-6-38 last season.

He won’t be as good as Cesar Izturis with the glove, but the fans (not me by the way) seemed pushed over the edge with frustration at Izturis’ lack of offense. This is an upgrade there, possibly a big-time one.

I said all along I liked Jason Bartlett better. One veteran baseball writer (you all know his name) agreed with me yesterday that Bartlett is better. But if the price would have been Nolan Reimold, this was very likely the better move to make and Hardy is younger than Bartlett.

Meanwhile, at a time when the O’s were acquiring Hardy, the Red Sox were picking up Carl Crawford. Guess I shouldn’t even open that can of worms, but it just shows these teams are not playing on a level field right now.

This Winter Meetings will be remembered for the O’s making some solid moves, but nothing that blows you away and without them handing out any contracts to put them even in play with a guy like Crawford.

In the short term, we didn’t expect that to happen anyway. In the long term, if not much sooner, the O’s better find a way to get into that market at some point. Hardy’s pickup could be a good one, but when it comes at almost the same time that the Red Sox are getting Crawford after also adding Adrian Gonzalez. It shows us again that the Yankees, Red Sox and O’s are playing the same game in name only.

This is the first 5:30 a.m.or so post I have published in a while. Now if I can just sneak in another hour somewhere.

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