Hardy and Orioles agree to terms on extension
The Orioles have agreed to terms with shortstop J.J. Hardy on a three-year contract extension, which will pay the 28-year-old shortstop between $22 and $22.5 million total through 2014, the Baltimore Sun has learned.
The deal is pending a physical and some specific contractual language. It includes a limited no-trade clause of eight teams during the extension. The Orioles have also given him assurances that he will not be flipped this year (even though the extension does not specifically cover 2011).
The Orioles have not commented on the deal, but it could be agrred upon as soon as today. A physical has not yet been scheduled.
Hardy, who is batting .275 with 13 homers and 33 RBIs and has made just two errors in 63 games this season, told the Sun on Friday, “My thought is that I still hope it gets done … If it gets done or not before the trade deadline, I don’t know what their thoughts are. But I still say I hope it gets done.”
Hardy, who came over this offseason in a trade with the Minnesota Twins for two minor-league pitchers, is a free agent at season’s end and was looking for more stability after being with three teams since 2009. The Orioles have been pleased with his offense, defense and leadership in the clubhouse. Hardy is making $5.85 million this season.
The only knock on Hardy is his injury history – he missed a month this year with an oblique strain and hasn’t played 145 games in a big-league season since 2008. But the Orioles believe he can stay healthy enough to provide the perfect bridge to 19-year-old shortstop Manny Machado, the club’s top prospect who is playing at Class-A Frederick. (Machado left Friday’s game with a hip flexor and will be re-evaluated Saturday, but is considered day-to-day.)
The Orioles have not given a full no-trade clause since Melvin Mora in 2006, but both Nick Markakis (eight clubs) and Brian Roberts (12 clubs in 2011, full protection in 2012) currently have limited clauses built into their extensions.