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June 13, 2011

MacPhail hoping to start contract talks with Hardy before All-Star break

Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail acknowledged that the club has had internal discussions about a potential extension for J.J. Hardy and he’s hoping to initiate contract talks with the shortstop’s agent before next month’s All-Star break.

“There’s no reason why he wouldn’t be an asset here for years to come,” MacPhail said. “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.”

Hardy, who said during spring training that he’d like to play with his new team for a couple of months before making any decisions about his future, said that he and his agent are open to discussions about an extension.

“I think some of it has to do with what my agent thinks, but I do like it here. I’m not afraid to say that,” said Hardy, who was acquired from the Minnesota Twins in December for minor league relievers Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson. “I like all the guys, I like playing for [manager Buck Showalter], I like all the coaches. I like the direction that this organization is going. But I’ve always said that it has to be brought up in order to figure out what I want to do. It’s never really been brought up either way, so I don’t know. I feel like something has to happen. I think everyone knows that something has to happen here in the next couple of months.”

Hardy, 28, will be a free agent after the season, so it stands to reason, that if the Orioles don’t feel like they can resign him to an extension – and that is their priority at this point – then they’ll try to move him before the July 31 trade deadline.

Hardy, who missed nearly a month with an oblique injury, has certainly played well enough to garner interest from contenders. After getting two more hits Sunday, Hardy is batting .287 with six homers and 19 RBIs in 36 games. He has reached base in 19 of his past 20 games and has hit .375 (6-for-16) with two homers since being inserted into the leadoff role in Brian Roberts’ absence.

Defensively, Hardy has yet to make an error, the only American League shortstop who has started 15 or more games at the position and can make that claim.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 1:47 PM | | Comments (26)


I like JJ's style of play, but I am wondering if a long term extension makes sense with a guy named Machado waiting in the wings in a year or two. Perhaps some gets moved to another infield position? Who goes, Reynolds or Roberts?

Jeff Z's reply: Machado is still about a year and a half to two years away. If you could get Hardy to agree to a two-year extension, I think it's a no brainer.

They should do this ASP he is too good to lose. Defiantly the best SS we have had in years and one of the best in the league. Look at Jeter's stats look at Hardy's, Hardy is by far better.


Two things: First, David Hernandez would look pretty good in our bullpen right now. In 30 innings pitched with Arizona, he has given up just 24 hits, only one home run{in the thin air} struck out 35 and is pitching to a 3.00 ERA. The good news is that we got an every day player for him. That is also the bad news.

How much do you think it will cost to sign Hardy to a two year extension? I'm guessing at least 7 million total. That may be a little rich for Andy.

I'd send Roberts packing in a trade to the NL if someone wanted him. Maybe him and Guthrie for someone. Sign JJ to a two yr extention. And then get Reynolds training to play first. He can then do what Youklis does,play either 3rd or !st when they need him to. Trade Luke at the deadline for a decent pitcher or two.

The way I hear it JJ Hardy will donate 50.00 to the fan each time he/she catches a home run that’s 3 rows into the seats or less. Also, for the fans who sit along the foul area JJ will donate 25.00. JJ wants to include everyone, when he wins everybody wins. (Added disclaimer this benefit is only good @ OPACY) Help defray the cost of a ticket and convenience fee. Hardy Har Har, chuckle! Just for a little levity, very little that is. =P

On a serious note, I hope Andy is burning up the phone lines talking trades with other teams. I want to read those “Hot Stove” on MLB Trade Rumor. com. It’s been very quiet over there as late. Why should other teams have all the fun?!?

I would keep Hardy and offer him arbitration after the season if he can't be resigned. The draft pick would be more valuable than what they could likely acquire via trade.

Hardy has been great. Sign him up!


Interesting that for all the bashing Andy MacPhail takes on Orioles Insider, I've heard nary a mention of the great trade he made with Minnesota to get Hardy. The guy, barring his injuries, is a ballplayer. He's the type of player Minnesota loves, and a reason they have been successful.

Let me clarify -
Bashing by the "fans," not the writers.

If doesn't sign, why trade him if can get supplemental pick before 2nd round? Tampa and Toronto have restocked their farm systems with the extra picks the Orioles don't have.

Jeff Z's reply: That's an option, too. Hardy could wind up being a Type A.


I'll answer that. Even two blind squirrels like Andy and his nephew trip over a nut on occasion. By the way, how 'bout that farm system? Wooowee! Great, Huh? Norfolk should be pretty good soon, because half of the starting rotation will be down there.

Jeff, I know this is probably thinking too far into the future, but ...

If Hardy becomes the O's shortstop for the next few years, and if Machado arrives and none of the O's 3rd base prospects have worked out, might they consider moving Hardy to 3rd base (assuming he's still providing great defense and hitting)?

Jeff Z's reply: I think both second and third could be an option for Hardy. He's athletic enough to move around. But as you said, probably a little too early to speculate. MacPhail hasn't even initiated talks with Hardy's agent.


I totally disagree.

MacPhail's trades:

Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson for JJ Hardy
David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio for Mark Reynolds and PTBNL (John Hester)

Chris Ray and PTBNL for Kevin Millwood
Miguel Tejada for Wynn Pelzer
Will Ohman for Rick VandenHurk

Ramon Hernandez for Brandon Waring, Ryan Freel and Justin Turner
Hank Williamson and Garrett Olson for Felix Pie
Randor Bierd for David Pauley (having a great year thus far ... for Seattle)
Hayden Penn for Robert Andino
Oscar Salazar for Cla Meredith
George Sherrill for Steve Johnson and Josh Bell
Gregg Zaun for Rhyne Hughes
Aubrey Huff for Brett Jacobson

Miguel Tejada for Mike "Cant Stand Ya" Costanzo, Matt Albers, Troy Patton, Luke Scott, Dennis Sarfate
Erik Bedard for Tony Butler, Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Kam Mickolio and Chris Tillman

There have been MAJOR winners amongst these trades. There have been no terrible trades. He's come out far ahead.

Now free agency is a different story all together ... a major bust on most fronts ... but this is more likely the fault of Peter Angelos and the "rebuilding" effort. Look, MacPhail has made mistakes. Every GM does. And you try working for King Peter. That being said, he has done at least an acceptable job. Enough with the MacPhail bashing.

McPhail has had some success in reconstructing the Orioles and making them respectable again. What is the status of re-signing him?

Jeff Z's reply: Who MacPhail? Peter Angelos told us this spring that he loves the combination of Andy and Buck, and he wants Andy to stay around. But there's been nothing official and his contract runs out after the season.

Jeff -

Hardy, as of now, is on his way to having a career year in SLG, OBP and (of course) OPS. That also includes the above average defense that he provides.

The market at shortstop is pretty thin, therefore MacPhail needs to act quick if they expect to resign him. Or, in otherwords, not drag it out to the point where Hardy says "thanks, but I want to see what the market thinks".

Jeff Z's reply: Agreed.

Kenny, I disagree. First of all, you forgot trading Sherrill, who had value, for a 3B who can't play defensively and strikes out way too much, plus a P who MacPhail didn't even protect and almost lost for nothing.

Hardy, who is a good player, is a free agent we could very easily lose for nothing.

We traded Hernandez, who would certainly help our bullpen, for a guy struggling to hit .200 who leads the league in errors.

The Bedard trade netted Adam Jones and a guy struggling to stay in the majors as a 5th starter (I am not counting Sherrill since we traded him for nothing). Not great considering what we gave up. When other teams - that are well run - trade their ACE, they get more in return than one starter and a fringe 5th starter.

The Tejada trade netted Luke Scott, which was very solid, I will give you that.

All the other trades you pointed out were trading one donkey for another donkey.

Not to mention, even more troubling than the trades, is the lack of good draft picks. Why, for a team that has to build through the draft, do we have no serious power hitting player in Frederick or above, no serious lead off hitter in Frederick or above, and no SP who is projected as a front end guy?

Andy has made a few succesful trades and mistakes happen to all GM'S but I do not like his bullpen moves. We usually replace relievers with worse relievers. Hernandez would be better than Gonzales etc. Our bullpen , year in and year out seems to struggle statistically. Hardy was a good acquisition but at a price. I think Hoey is better than a number of our current relievers. etc etc

if we can sign him to two years it is a no brainer.

If the brain trust did not seriously consider an extension of Hardy the day after Roberts knocked his head again diving into first base it is emblematic of the appalling lack of deciciveness in the front office.

Machado is still a long injury free way off from being annointed the everyday shortstop and we know lots of things can happen between now and then that could alter that projection.

I didn't "forget" anything. I mentioned that trade. And are you seriously saying George Sherrill was worth that much more than Bell and Johnson?

And your Bedard comments are nothing short of foolish. MacPhail traded an oft-injured poor-attitude "ace" for Jones (who is FAR more than a "starter" as you call him - he is very young and should be a fixture here for many years - he is THE team leader and could be an All-Star for years to come). Additionally, you forget that Sherrill and Mickolio were parts of that trade and they then in turn netted other players - namely Reynolds (I'll get to him in a second) and Bell/Johnson.

Now, trading a middle reliever - even a good one - for a 27-year-old 3rd basemen with Reynolds past history is a no-brainer. On top of that, it's very easy for you to mention Reynolds' statistical deficiencies - and there are always going to be some with a player like him - but you fail to mention the following -

2nd in runs
1st in doubles
1st in HR
1st in RBI
3rd in SB
1st in walks

I mean, by now, most of the "cut Reynolds" crowd has hidden back under their rocks, but you still make your noise.

There are many problems with this offense. Reynolds is certainly not one of them. To say so, and to say that wasn't a good trade at this point, is block-headed.

There you go Kenny,

calling a poster a name because he does not agree with you. You can put up all the documentation you want. The fact is that the Orioles are no better off than when Andy came here and brought his nephew who had been fired three times from from front office jobs . Pure nepotism on display. Performance on the field is all that matters, not fantasy baseball..

The farm system is worse off.

The Orioles are in last place.

They were in last place when he got here.

They will be in last place when he leaves here.

What a legacy.


You are arguing different points. I was ONLY discussing trades MacPhail has made. Not free agent signings. Not the draft. Nothing else. I was commenting on the JJ Hardy trade and you disagreed with me on MacPhail's trade history. Then you change the subject instead of making fact-based replies. So I guess we're done here.

Gil My Friend-

Get a grip. Our beloved O's are much better off with McPhial. Wieters and Jones are both above average players. the starting pitching is decent. The supporting cast is vastly improved. And a big signing WILL occur in the off season.

I have been a die hard since the early 70's and have suffered just like you for the past decade. However, I have not had this much reason for optimism since AM came on board.

He has turned dismal situations around in the past and he will do it here. Let's be happy this year with 80-85 wins and expect to contend this year.

PA was horrible in the past but he has let AM do his thing; give him credit as well. Life in birdland is better than it has been for a long time and the future looks brighter!

Kenny - Have you seen Josh Bell play. The guy is a power hitting 3B who doesn't actually hit for power and can't actually play 3B. I am not saying Reynolds is a dud, but we gave up another very good player to get him. Not exactly a win for me to give up an excellent young arm for a guy who is hitting .200 and has made 14 errors, even if he does hit HRs and 2Bs. The problem with those kind of players is most of their HRs come against bad pitchers who make mistakes. Also, they kill you in key situations. Look at the games this weekend. Saturday night he hits 2 HRs but then Ks with a runner on 3rd late in the game and less than 2 outs, in a game we ended up losing in extra innings. Then on Sunday he has two errors that hurt.

With that being said, the "cut Reynolds" crowd never had any merit, and I was never part of it, just like the cut Scott, cut Tillman, and cut Roberts crowd also have no merit. But just because we shouldn't cut the guy doesn't mean trading a young power arm that has proven to be effective and can start or relieve for a player that will hit 7-9 in a good line up because of his deficiencies (and who has defensive issues) is not a win. At best, it is a push.

Also, there was legitimate interest from Sherrill from a lot of teams. Andy chose to trade him to the Dodgers. Obviously, I don't know what the other offers were, but I did not like that trade from day one, and I have been proven right. Bell is awful.

As far as the Bedard trade, what exactly where Mickolio's contributions. He came up, was wild and ineffective, and had little trade value. David Hernandez was the prize in the Reynolds deal. So really, one guy panned out. I realize Tillman may still pan out, but at this point it doesn't look good, and for a team like the O's that doesn't draft well and doesn't sign players, you have to hit when you are trading an Ace. You just don't give him away because the media doesn't like him.

And quite frankly, when you botch free agent signings and completely the botch the draft - the thing most fans seem to ignore - I really am not that impressed by trading a guy that will make the All-Star team because Baltimore has to have a rep and a couple of fringe relievers/starters that really haven't added any value to the team yet. Nor will I be impressed by trading a young power arm for a 3B who struggles defensively and hits .200 and K's a ton. Also, you are also neglecting the trades he didn't make that could have helped this team.


First of all, I want to point out you made a solid argument, without pointless info and red herrings to deflect from the topic.

While I generally agree with many of your points, we will have to disagree on the basis of several.

1. I still believe getting a 27-year-old power-hitting third baseman (to a franchise that hasn't seen the likes in countless years) for a hard-throwing middle reliever (with the potential to close or start, I'll give you that) and a hard-throwing but wild reliever, is a no-brainer.

Let me throw you some numbers:

1. Player #1 through first 2529 plate appearances.
.238 BA, 133 HR, 381 RBI, .811 OPS
2. Player #2, through first 2548 PA:
.252, 131 HR, 373 RBI, .869 OPS

Guess who they are.
Player #1 Mark Reynolds
Player #2 Mike Schmidt

Now, obviously I'm not saying Mark Reynolds is the second coming of Michael Jack Schmidt, but he's also not the garbage this franchise has had at 3rd base since the days of Brooks and even Bobby Grich.

Otherwise, I agree on Josh Bell. Don't see him panning out ... which is exactly why it was even MORE imperative to make the trade for Reynolds. At the end of the day, even if the players in a trade are a push (which they aren't here), a starting 3B is far more important than a middle reliever.

Anyway, good last post, King.

Any comments Jeff??

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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