5 reasons re-signing J.J. Hardy is a great move by the O’s

Over the weekend, details emerged about the Orioles three year extension for shortstop J.J. Hardy.  Though nothing official has been announced, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that Hardy’s deal is worth $22.25 million and that he has a no trade clause with eight teams per season.

This news came as a breath of fresh air during what was a tough losing streak for the Orioles.  Here’s five reasons why this deal was so important.

  1. Bridging the Machado gap – Unless something goes terribly awry, the Orioles have their shortstop of the future in Manny Machado.  He’s at Single-A Frederick now after hitting .276 with six homers and 24 RBI in 38 games with the Shorebirds.  Machado was recently listed number five on Keith Law’s top prospects list, but he is at least a couple seasons away.  With Hardy, the Orioles should bridge the gap between now and the Machado era and hopefully have some overlap with a major league veteran when he is called up.  It is one less thing that Andy MacPhail will have to worry about down the road.
  2. Replacing Roberts - Let’s be honest, no one truly knows when Brian Roberts will return to the Orioles lineup.  It’s now being rumored that he could be headed to the 60-day disabled list.  While Hardy plays a different position, he patches some of he many holes that Roberts has left behind during his time on the bench.  For starters, Hardy has earned the role of leadoff hitter this season, hitting .273 with 9 homers and 16 RBI in that spot this season.  He also provides speed for the Birds at the top of the order and gets on base in over 1/3 of his at bats in the leadoff role.
  3. A fan of Camden Yards - Hardy’s batting average at Oriole Park at Camden Yards is almost .050 points higher than it is on the road.  At home, Hardy hits .298 with a .370 OBP, six homers and 14 RBI.  He’s definitely become a fan of what Camden Yards has to offer right handed batters and now will be hitting there 81 games out of the year for the next three seasons.

  4. Congrats to Hardy on the new contract! Great player on the field and a great person off the field! #rolemodelforusallless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

  5. DEEE-FENSE! – Hardy has a .994 fielding percentage with the O’s this season and has helped turn 35 double plays.  He has just two errors and over his career has never had a fielding percentage under .975.  He’s a solid middle infielder and who can turn two with the help of a decent second baseman.
  6. A fan favorite – How many George Sherrill, Aubrey Huff and Adam Loewen t-shirts do you have tucked away in your closet?  Thankfully Hardy won’t be one of those guys whose career is short lived in Baltimore.  Your Hardy t-shirt is safe to bring out to the Yard.  Now we just need to come up with a nickname for the guy.
The naysayers will point to Hardy’s injuries over his career, but in my opinion these would’ve been the same people that would’ve called the Orioles cheap for letting him walk at the end of the year.  Signing J.J. Hardy is nothing but a positive.  What’s your favorite reason?
Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.

4 Comments

  1. spy

    July 18, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Is it football yet ? Baseball is dead in Baltimore but football is alive well and we have a competitive team………Go Ravens………..they make me fell they want me as a fan , the O’s don’t….

  2. MGW

    July 18, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    With a team with as many holes as the Orioles have, you have to applaud this move. Again, the naysayers will bitch about his injuries, but this is a good move for a club in desperate need to plug some holes.

  3. The Intimidator

    July 18, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Orioles HAD to make this move. And it was a good signing at a relatively low cost. You don’t let Hardy get away as the SS market is thin.

    For the 2nd time this year I am in agreement over a move the Orioles have made. The 1st was trading for Reynolds.

    This signing is the type that could bring a top level free agent here…

    I think if the Orioles didn’t sign Hardy then alot of fans would have jumped ship. Now that’s the 1st piece of the puzzle for the upcoming free agent market. Don’t blow it on an Omar Visquel, Livan Hernandez or Ben Sheets.

    Get a hard hitting left fielder to go along with Jones in center and that will free you up to put the “light hitting” Markakis in the 2 slot.

    Move Wieters to 1st and sign a decent catcher.

    Hell, why not make a deal for Ubaldo Jimenez. Get rid of those bum minor leaguers. And even throw Guthrie into the offer.

    Now since that signing was a “Pro” I have to talk about this “Con” if it has any tracton. Letting McFail go at the end of the year would be a definate plus and a move that has to be done. However, the rumor is Showalter moving into the GM slot. That would be bad, very bad. It would be like when they put “MGW’s” favorite, Mike “Flanny” Flannigan into the GM slot. Not the move you want to make if your rebuilding again, putting a rookie in at GM.

    Now I have a question for everyone and please answer as I need an overall consensus on the correct answer.

    “If a sheet of aluminum foil crinkles, drinking ice cold beer can “answer here” the hair on your knuckles?”

  4. yanlanm

    August 9, 2011 at 5:32 am

    what kind of This sport? I don’t understand,Is it football yet?they make me fell excited.