Hardy, 35, will receive a $2MM buyout rather than playing at a $14MM salary. While Baltimore has relied on Hardy at short for the better part of the past seven seasons, this was an easy decision after he stumbled through an injury-plagued 2017. He ended the season with a meager .217/.255/.323 batting line over just 268 plate appearances.
It is expected that mid-season acquisition Tim Beckham will shoulder the load for the O’s in 2018. Perhaps there’s some possibility, though, that Hardy could be brought back (at a much lower rate) as a reserve. More likely, he’ll set out looking for a chance at more playing time elsewhere.
As for Miley, he would have cost $12MM but will instead take home a $500K buyout. Soon to turn 31, the southpaw starter made all 32 starts but lasted just 157 1/3 frames, limping to a 5.61 ERA while his walk rate lept to 5.3 per nine innings. His departure, anticipated though it was, leaves the O’s clearly in need of at least two rotation acquisitions (if not more).
It has been a few years now since Miley was an effective rotation piece, though by some key measures (swinging-strike rate, hard-hit rate) he has been much the same pitcher as he was previously. Miley will undoubtedly get a shot elsewhere at a lesser rate of pay. Among other things, he’ll need to tamp down on the long balls if he’s to regain his footing in the majors.