Baltimore Orioles And J.J. Hardy Close To Three-Year Extension

July 15, 2011 – 9:33 pm by Ryan Phillips

The Baltimore Orioles have been trying to figure out who they will be able to make available via trade this month. One piece of that puzzle appears to have been solved, as the O’s and shortstop J.J. Hardy are nearing an extension.

Hardy was sent to the Orioles by the Minnesota Twins in December along with Brendan Harris and $500,000 in exchange for minor league pitchers Brett Jacobson and Jim Hoey. The former All-Star is having a nice comeback year, but the numbers being tossed around for his extension are a little ridiculous.

Buster Olney says the O’s and Hardy are getting close to finalizing a three-year deal worth $21-25 million. Um, wow. That’s a lot of scratch for a guy hitting .277 with 13 home runs and 33 RBI. Hardy also has a .336 on-base percentage and an OPS of .832. Again, he’s having a nice year but that seems like a lot of money for what are average numbers.

Among Major League shortstops Hardy ranks fourth in home runs, 10th in RBI and 22nd in hits. In addition, his OPS would rank fifth. Hardy did miss about a month of the season with a oblique injury, so his numbers would likely be much better with a full season.

From everything I’ve heard about him, Hardy is a solid guy and a good teammate, and that is certainly factoring in to the numbers he’s getting. He’s also only 28 so maybe he’s figured things out again and this season is more of an indication of what’s to come. Obviously the Orioles think so.

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