Jul 15, 2011, 3:34 PM EDT
There has been chatter that the Orioles could make shortstop J.J. Hardy available at the trading deadline. There has been louder chatter, however, that they like Hardy and would try to lock him up. Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that, to that end, the Orioles are willing to go to three years on an extension.
The price they’re willing to pay isn’t known, but right now Hardy is making $5.85 million. He would be a free agent after this season if nothing happens. On the production side, Hardy is enjoying his best year, hitting .277/.336/.496 with 13 homers in 269 plate appearances.
Three years would take him through his age-31 season. Given the relative dearth of decent shortstops in baseball at the moment, there are way worse things on which the O’s could spend their money.
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