Hardy's batting line of .219/.253/.311 was among the worst shortstop seasons in the Expansion Era. And here's how Hardy's on-base percentage in particular ranked among players who played at least 75 percent of their games at shortstop and received at least 400 plate appearances since 1990:
You had to figure Cesar Izturis's name would show up. And it's moderately surprising that Deivi Cruz's didn't.
Although many impact free agents remain on the open market, the Orioles still have several holes on their projected 25-man roster. They clearly have some question marks, and unfortunately Hardy has to be considered one of them.
Barring any kind of setback with his shoulder, which is something that can't be ruled out anymore, he'll be the shortstop on opening day and for much of the year. But any kind of offensive contribution may end up being a bonus. And even though the Orioles don't seem to have much interest in trying to trade Hardy, he obviously wouldn't be easy to move anyway. He'll make $12.5 million in 2016 and $14 million in 2017, and his $14 million club option in 2018 ($2 million buyout) is fully guaranteed if he's traded (per Cot's). Good luck getting another team to pick up that tab.
The Orioles have some positions to upgrade, so they don't really have the luxury of worrying about Hardy. But fans do. A bounce-back of sorts almost has to be coming, but it might not be as big as fans anticipate.