The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the Orioles and the Twins are close on a deal in which shortstop J.J. Hardy would head east for a couple minor league pitchers. One of them would be 6-foot-6 righthander Brett Jacobsen, who throws hard but hasn't pitched above A-ball.

This is premature, but trading Hardy would be a signal (to me at least) that the Twins expect to close the deal on Tsuyoshi Nishioka soon.

Stay tuned to see if this goes down. 

UPDATE: Unless something breaks later tonight, there is no deal between the Twins and Orioles. Indications are that the sides will continue to discuss the trade, as the Orioles really need a shortstop. The teams might be waiting until after the Rule V draft tomorrow to announce the deal, based on the players involved.

The fact that they are talking continues to indicate that the Twins are making progress on a contract for Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

We were told yesterday that there were no talks between the Twins and Nishioka and there were no talks scheduled for Wednesday.

That is not the truth.

A source with direct knowledge of talks said within the last hour that the sides have continued to negotiate a deal for the switch-hitting Nishioka. Whether that means a deal is close or not is not certain, but they indeed are talking.

Stay tuned as more details become available.


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BREAKING NEWS: Hardy deal expected Thursday