The Orioles have trotted out many shortstops since Miguel Tejada was traded prior to the 2008 season. Freddie Bynum, Brandon Fahey, Juan Castro, Alex Cintron and Luis Hernandez were all starting shortstops that season, and it was a miserable showing. 2009 and 2010 saw the defense improve dramatically with the signing of Cesar Izturis, but his lack of offense made him just as painful to watch.
Now, the Orioles finally have a worthy replacement in J.J. Hardy. Hardy has not only made all of the plays at short easily but also has carried the offense and been one of the most valuable parts of the lineup.
Hardy is in his final year of arbitration and is set to become a free agent when the season is over. The Orioles are currently negotiating an extension for Hardy, but if nothing can be reached within the next week or so, the Orioles must trade Hardy because he will be the most sought after trade chip on the team.
In case the Orioles can't extend Hardy's contract, here are the pros and cons of a potential deal.