J.J. Hardy interested in signing extension with Baltimore Orioles

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles are hanging onto relevancy by a thread. After a successful 2012 season that many considered a fluke, they delivered a strong 2013 season even if it did not result in a playoff appearance. But with glaring holes on their roster and an inclination to fail players on their physicals, they had an odd post-season this year with not much to show for it up until a week ago.

Having now signed free agents Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz to restore some of the good vibes to the team, Dan Duquette and company might now turn their attention to extending shortstop J.J. Hardy.

The Orioles expressed their interest in an extension with Hardy earlier this month. Speaking with ESPN today, Hardy said that he returns the feelings and would like to stay in Baltimore:

I’ll say, and I’ve said it a lot, that I’ve really enjoyed my time here…I like playing here. I like the guys. I like the manager. I like the coaches. There are a lot of things that make me happy. So I definitely like it here. But we’ll see what happens.”

In the same article, however, Hardy expresses some doubt about how he might fit with the future plans in Baltimore and even says his agent will keep track of other teams who might be looking for shortstops. The Orioles are in a tough, though enviable spot: Hardy’s combination of power and elite defense at shortstop is hard to find. Having said that, they have the best defensive infielder on the planet in Manny Machado and might be holding back his contributions by not playing him at short. With Hardy’s current deal coming to an end, they have a decision to make soon.

Both sides are interested in an extension, with certain caveats granted. It will be interesting to see if anything develops.

Topics: Baltimore Orioles, J.J. Hardy

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