That early offseason J.J. Hardy for Shelby Miller trade proposal had me convinced that the Birds would move Hardy before his three-year, $22.25 million contract expired with the Orioles. Perhaps that is no longer the case.
The 31-year-old shortstop is signed through 2014 and recently told the Baltimore Sun’s Eduardo A. Encina that Dan Duquette approached him about signing an extension at the Gold Glove awards in October. “I’d like to stay,” Hardy told Encina.
Again, Duquette said today that he believes there's mutual interest between Hardy & #Orioles on possible extension. Hardy is FA after 2014.
— Eduardo A. Encina (@EddieInTheYard) December 12, 2013
“The last two years we’ve really made major strides forward,” he said. “I really want to see if we can continue what we’ve started here.”
In three seasons with Baltimore, Hardy has hit .256/.298/.434 totaling 30, 22 and 25 home run seasons respectively. He’s won two Gold Gloves (2012 and 2013) a Silver Slugger (2013) and was named to his second career All-Star game (2007 and 2013). Defensively, Hardy posted a .981 fielding percentage in 2013, higher than the .973 league average at shortstop. His 4.02 range factor per 9 innings was slightly below the league average (4.15) at his position.
It’s difficult for me to give my opinion on what the Orioles should do with Hardy until we see their full approach this offseason. Long-term, I still think Manny Machado is the shortstop of the future and presently Hardy’s trade value is sky-high. If trading him can bring the Birds a top-tier starter, it’s a move that Duquette has to make. If the O’s add that starter via free agency, re-signing Hardy makes sense.