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Orioles hoping to sign J.J. Hardy to contract extension before the All-Star break

Jun 13, 2011, 2:48 PM EDT

J.J. Hardy AP

J.J. Hardy wore out his welcome in Minnesota after one season, in part because Ron Gardenhire wanted more speed in the lineup, in part because Hardy missed one-third of the season with injuries, and in part because the Twins didn’t seem to grasp that excellent defense and a decent bat made him one of the league’s best all-around shortstops.

Apparently the Orioles like Hardy a lot more, as team president Andy MacPhail told Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun that they’re interested in signing him to a multi-year contract extension before the 28-year-old becomes a free agent at the end of the season:

There’s no reason why he wouldn’t be an asset here for years to come. I definitely think we’ll have conversations. There’s no question about it. The closer you get for free agency, the more difficult it is for players to want that extension. I think it’s something that we definitely targeted before the All-Star break to talk about.

For his part, Hardy told Zrebiec that he likes playing for the Orioles, but added: “Some of it has to do with what my agent thinks.”

Hardy hasn’t been injury free this year either, missing nearly a month with an oblique strain, but has yet to commit an error in 36 games while hitting .287 with six homers and an .836 OPS that ranks fifth among MLB shortstops behind only Jose Reyes, Jhonny Peralta, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Troy Tulowitzki.

  1. Panda Claus - Jun 13, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    “Some of it has to do with what my agent thinks” sure sounds ominous for O’s fans. At least the ones that would like Hardy to stick around.

  2. minnesconsin - Jun 13, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    Hardy’s stats would make him 3rd on the Twins in batting average, 2nd in home runs, and first in OPS.

    so glad Gardy and Bill Smith opted for a Nishioka/Casilla middle infield

  3. Jeremiah Graves - Jun 13, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Gotta agree with y’all it a good thing Bill Smith and Grady dodged the JJ Hardy bullet. It’d be downright awful to have him plaguing the Twins lineup with his lack of speed.

    Luckily the ten stolen bases that Casilla and Nishioka have combined for have made ALL the difference this year.

  4. gennij65 - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    We need that guy back in Milwaukee. Yuniesky Betancourt is an embarrassment.

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