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July 16, 2011

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.

Posted by Dan Connolly at 12:30 PM | | Comments (26)


Good stuff. Now go get Bundy, Delmonico & Esposito

Best thing "McFail" has done since he has been here.

Why the heck does a guy need a physical when he likely had one pre-season and is currently play for them on a daily basis?

That being said, great pro-active move by the O's. Not much to be happy about these days, but great to see them finally open the chequebook to keep a solid player from getting away. I have zero issues with the terms of this extension.

Great deal !!! Great shortstop,great person.Finally something positive in this negative year.....

I'm glad he's staying, but I must send my condolences to him.

McPhail actually did it. He got away with paying Hardy less than Roberts makes. Good for you McPhail. You need FOUR (4) more new players in the line up if you intend to change losses into wins.
Start preparing to sign:
LF-Lance Berkman, 3B-Aramis Ramirez, 2B-Ricky Weeks, and 1B-Prince Fielder

Congratulations to Hardy for taking the money. This was a chance for his big payday that he didn't dream about when he came over here, based on his injury history. He has had a good run since coming off the DL and the timing could not have been better for him. He gained financial security for himself and his family. As far as him being a bridge to Machado, that is pure speculation. Oriole's prospects just don't seem to pan out.

He knows full well that Andy and Angelos are doing very little to make this team a winner, and that we are last now, and will probably be last when he exits. If that doesn't bother him, it shouldn't bother anybody else.

The best move McPhail could make would be to not extend himself, and to make sure Joe Jordan is done too.

Congrats JJ,

You now are locked into playing for the worst team in the AL for a couple more years. Yes, as of today, your O's have the worst record in the AL, and by seasons end, you'll likely be on the worst team in all of baseball.

Be happy with the money. It should set you up for life. Know though, you have just signed on to a team with no light at the end of the tunnel. The exec that brought you to Baltimore has lost more games than any other exec in the game the last two decades.

As has been the case with BRob, you are doomed to settle for losing for as long as you're in Baltimore. The good news? You're young enough that you can still get out when this deal is up. My hoe for you though? That you'll get traded to a contender by next seasons deadline (something I'm sure you and your agent have already talked about).

Good luck!

I know my 10 year old granddaughter is happy he is staying...;-)
That is the only reason she watches the

you are one strange man indeed! I find it hard to believe you are an O's fan...I think you are a closeted yankee or sox fan...

The Orioles have bought high here: I'm not sure this is a good deal, especially since they have said they wouldn't trade him. As a hitter he's been very hot and cold over his career, and that is just during the times he's been healthy. O well, I hope Hardy can stay on the field and justify the money, and that the Orioles can invest wisely in other areas.

Congrats JJ, Hey Dspedden if you wanna play GM at least ask for players that are available this offseason, Weeks signed a long term extension before the season started,

Glad to see us ink JJ, thats one position we can count on now. For all you people saying the orioles will be basement dwellers for the next 3 years, JJ seems to disagree. He said he signed largely because he felt the team was going in a positive direction and would soon be a contender.

But im sure Gil, wayne and john have much more insight into the future of the orioles than their starting shortstop.

Not a good move. Should have traded him for a couple of good prospects. This team has so many holes and the farm system is so empty. I've been watching this with interest, to see if Mcphail would be honest in his assessment of the team. It seems he is not. By signing Hardy, he must think they are a player or 2 away from contending. They need prospects. Lots and lots of prospects. Hardy would have brought 2 or 3. Sigh...

Finally, a shortstop I can live with, not those other wannabes they used to put out there.

He needs to be drug tested.

Poor logic, jonnie. One doesn't fix holes by making more of them.

Now he can start batting .240, strike out more and the OBP can fall too.

I love this signing!

JJ gets the security and the O's get a guy who can field and hit with the best of them when healthy, so this is a win win contract in my book.


Isn't Mark Reynolds locked up for 2 more years if the O's exercise an option? I am not sure if Mark goes to 1B or stays at 3B, but his bat is needed here since the O's are going to have go hard after a 1B, 2B and maybe someone to pay LF beside pitching in the off season plus they have to lock up Adam.

Jeff Z's reply: Yes on Reynolds. Two years on his contract if you include his option for 2013.

Yes, because it makes sense to lock up a guy that has played 2 full seasons out of 9 pro seasons in his career, not to mention the fact that he has already missed a month this year. Even if he stays healthy, why not sign someone cheap over the next couple years to bridge the gap for Machado and spend all that money on the amateur draft and international free agents? Or better yet, why wouldn't the Orioles trade him for prospects now? He's still a free agent after the season and last I checked, they could still sign him then if they want him that bad.

Oh, I know why, becuase the Orioles are delusional and haven't figured out this team is nowhere near competing this year or next and also haven't figured out that you need to trade everyone you can for prospects when you're rebuilding. I thought MacPhail got it when they made the Bedard and Tejada deals, but we're back to the same old Orioles. Can't wait fot the next ten years of suck! tired of this...

Go sign Fielder and Buerlhe in the offseason.

I almost finished typing that without laughing!!!! I'll win the mega millions before MacPhail and Angelos give a legitimate offer to a free agent (not the phony Texieria offer).

my congratulations (money) and condolences (competition/winning) to Hardy.

I would be surprised if this signing is not a result of the recent one on one meetings that Showalter has had with Angelo's in which it would be my guess that Buck has firmly stated what he thinks needs to be done to right this sinking ship as quickly as possible. I think it will be followed by the signing of Prince Fielder in the off season and hopefully a good veteran starting pitcher to anchor the rotation.

The O's are in crisis and the fans are not going to stick with the team for another rebuilding plan from within. Showalter is not backwards at coming forward and it would be my guess that he has told the owner that the check-book needs to be opened and it needs to be opened fast.

Except for Roberts, the infield in recent years has been a revolving door. This is the 1st time in recent memory some continuity has been established. And, both Reynolds and JJ are still young guys. The laundry list for this offseason just got a bit easier. Now they can focus on a leftfielder (easiest spot to refill), 1st baseman, utility infielder and two half decent pitchers. Slow and painful but progress nonetheless! We Hope!

I like Hardy, but I can't help but feel like this is the wrong move. There are a host of contenders in search of a shortstop and Hardy's stock is very high right now. I think the Os best move would have been to trade Hardy for prospects. In fact, I'm thinking the Os should trade every veteran not nailed down for prospects. They are never going to get anywhere with a farm system that ranks near the bottom of the AL when the Sox, Rays, Jays and Yankees have farm systems in the top six or seven.

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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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