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).
Hardy was believed to be one of the Orioles' possible trade chips, especially if they decided to get drastic and trade a number of players. In choosing to lock up Hardy, we can suppose that the front office doesn't think that they have given up on the season. We fans may have a different opinion of how the front office is treating the season given who is still sitting on the roster, but hey, what can you do?
I like the price. Comments bandied about on Camden Chat were speculating whether he might get up to $10 million a year on the free agent market or something along those lines. Less than $8 million annual is not so bad, although there is the question of how often he will be injured for the contract's duration. If nothing else, at least this should mean that barring significant injuries, we won't be seeing Cesar Izturis return and get into the starting lineup.
One of the rallying cries has been to extend this man, and now he's extended. All right, Orioles, whatcha got next?