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July 10, 2011

Hardy optimistic about contract extension

With the Orioles and his agent engaging in semi-regular conversations about a potential contract extension, shortstop J.J. Hardy is hopeful that an agreement can be reached during the All-Star break.

“I hope it gets done during the break,” said Hardy, who is a free agent after the season. “I don’t know if it will. Right now, the ball is kind of in their court. That’s where it’s at.”

Hardy didn’t want to comment specifically on the negotiations, but he acknowledged that he was optimistic with the dialogue the two sides have had. If the Orioles can’t reach an extension with Hardy before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, they would likely consider moving the sure-handed shortstop who is batting .278 with 13 homers and 33 RBIs. Hardy struggled on the road trip, going 5-for-40 (.125), though two of those hits were home runs.

Hardy has made it clear that his main goal is re-signing with the Orioles, who acquired him before the season in a trade with the Minnesota Twins for minor league relievers Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson.

“If it doesn’t get done during the break, hopefully we’ll make some good progress,” Hardy said.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 8:08 PM | | Comments (18)


Is there anything we can do as fans to make a difference? I dream of the day when the headline in the Sports section calls for Peter to sell the team. Certainly the City can see the adverse economic affect on downtown. The millions being spent for the Grand Prix could have been used for seed money for the purchase of the Orioles. Maybe we could be like Green Bay. Please editors of the Sun and other city leaders step up and demand a change.

That would be great if we could sign him...he's a real ballplayer. We'd have a nice core of position players, Jones, Wieters, Hardy, Markakis (although not too optimistic about our minor league position players). Funny how that would be a good thing and now the main thing I'm worried about would be our pitching which I thought for sure would take a step forward this year but have taken two steps back.

I have to question why JJ Hardy would want to re-sign with a loser franchise.

I have to question posters who post on boards dedicated to a supposed "loser franchise."

I'd love to have JJ stay in Baltimore, but one has to wonder, why in the heck would he?

Eddie, Unfortunately I'm a lifelong O's fan and I follow the team, I have since I was a kid in the early 80's. But I've seen my team go from a once-proud franchise to a loser franchise over the last 14 years. It sucks to admit it, but it's absolutely true.

And all I'm saying is... after being exposed to the continued failure of this organization, I don't understand why Hardy would want to re-sign with us. Heck, I don't know why ANY free agent would at this point!

It's a sad truth...

McPhail can't even sign the players that we already have, and we expect him to pursue Pince Fielder? Remember how difficult McPhail made the re-signing of Roberts and Markakis? They don't want give any player a contract for more than 1 year.

Keep Hardy certainly and build around him, Jones, Markakis and Wieters. Not sure about any of the pitchers -- all have looked nothing short of lost and bewildered for more than a month! Blow the rest of this team up! Whatever "plans" the O's have had for 13 years, scrap them, and while they are at it, start by getting rid of EVERYONE in scouting and player development! There are at least 10 teams with lower payrolls and better records. Management has no eye for talent and no record of developing winning players.

Well, if they get rid of Hardy and Koji, I'll have no reason to watch the O's anymore.

I'm a lifelong fan (46 yrs) but man, I think I'm done. Have to pick up a new favorite. Why would JJ sign, they'd have to give him a sedative to sign for a team that is like a perpetual expansion team/franchise.

I bet that Wieters and Jones can't wait for free agency so they can get out of this loser organization. We will never again see the Orioles be a winning team in this century. Hopefully they will soon be gone.

Again, I don't know how we can continue with the same owner,GM, scouting,& player deveopment departments . We've had top draft pics for MANY! years, so where is the "talent" these "professionals" have aquired?
Time to start over. I can't believe it, but i turned away from our game & watched the Nats game,
I'm 77, been a fan since 1954, but rather watch the Nats?
Enough said


Do you know if the contract extension is supposed to be two years or three years? What's the price range looking like? Thank you!

Jeff Z's reply: If I had the information, I wouldn't keep it from everybody Andrew, but I have said that I think it's going to take 3 guaranteed years.

3 reasons why the Orioles will not resign J.J.:
1. He is not on the down side of his career
2. He will not ask for an outlandish salary
3. He plays the game like a professional

Signing Hardy to an extension is a horrendously misguided move that lacks foresight. His only purpose is to bridge the Machado gap. That can be done with any no mitt/no stick bum already in the system. Sure he could be dealt in the future, but his value is peaking now, especially in light of the Reyes injury. Trade Hardy in the next 2 weeks. Get an electric AA or AAA arm that'll be ready by 2013. Cincy, St. Louis, and San Fran are ripe and ready to be plucked right now...NOW.

Jeff, you thinking it will take 8 million for 3 years to get it done?

Jeff Z's reply: Sounds a little steep to me.

JJ would give us one more piece of a solid starting lineup, which includes Wieters, Markakis, Reynolds, Roberts (?), Jones, Scott, and whichever one of the young pitchers make it out of "ruin the arm" time alive.

DLee gets slammed in here regularly, but he is probably good for 20 HRs and certainly great defense. Guerrero, I will concede, is indefensible and must go, the sooner the better. He offers absolutely nothing. So the position lineup is not too bad. It all depends on the pitching.

But here is the real problem - the Orioles' minor leagues has got to be the worst in baseball. Whenever somone gets hurt - regardless of posiition - there is nobody to replace him. How many guys have we used at second base this season? Other than Machado, there is not a starting player in the entire organization waiting down the road. If we are counting on fringe or bench players such as Avery or Hoes or Mahoney to bail us out, forget it.

I'm not an Andy Mac hater. I think he did a decent job of finding us some bats considering what he had to work with. Duchscherer bashing is Monday morning quarterbacking and nothing more. Had he worked out, as he very well could have, Andy would be a genius. He deserves credit for taking the chance.

The guy who has to go (assuming the owner won't) is Joe Jordan and the Stockstills (sp?). It is their responsibilty to scout and draft and sign good players. They have failed utterly and completely, with Hobgood simply the proverbial straw that called attention to their failures. If money is the issue, forget Fielder, for whom they have zero chance anyway, and use the bucks for scouting. But the minors are the very first thing to address, starting now.

Jeff- Isn't it true that the O's have the least amount of scouts in MLB?
I heard that and couldnt believe it.

The system is broken starting at the top.

Jeff Z's reply: I thought they were last in the AL East in scouts, not in all of baseball. But I'd have to look back at that Baseball America study.

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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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