LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Orioles say they’re open to a contract extension with J.J. Hardy. Hardy, the American League’s All-Star shortstop and two-time winner of the Gold Glove, is entering the final year of his contract.
“That’s under consideration by the team,” Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. “J.J.’s had a couple of good years for the team, and I think the interest is mutual between he and the Orioles in extending that relationship.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Scott Boras, the agent for Chris Davis and Matt Wieters, said that he’d welcome extension talks with the Orioles for the pair. A day earlier, Duquette said he would wait to hold those talks.
“We’ve addressed that with Scott the last two years in spring training. That hasn’t worked out. We’ll have another opportunity to talk about the contracts for the players that are in the arbitration process, and that will come sometime in January,” Duquette said.
“Generally during the arbitration process, we explore if there’s common ground for a long-term relationship, so that’s the more appropriate time to do that.”
The winter meetings end on Thursday, and Duquette continues to talk.
“We met with a couple of teams and we also talked to several agents. We made a few offers on our pitching front,” Duquette said. “We haven’t been able to close any deals on the pitching, but hopefully we’ll get something done here in the next day or so.”
One of the starting pitchers the Orioles were interested in, Bartolo Colon reached agreement on a two-year, $20 million contract with the New York Mets on Thursday afternoon.
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Duquette said the Orioles “were active on a couple of trade fronts, but that didn’t bear any fruit,” he said.
“You always like to get something done at the meeting because there’s an intense focus on your team. So, we’re going to try and get something done. Sometimes you can lay the groundwork and make a deal a day or two after, and that would be good, but we’d certainly like to get something done here this week.”
He said the Orioles continue to talk trade, but he hopes “to bring one of them to closure.”
Duquette is poised to draft a player in the Rule 5 draft.
“The Rule 5 is a bit of a crapshoot, but once in a while, you can come up with a good player that can help your team,” Duquette said. “More often than not, you’ll come up with a player that you think is a good player, and you think is going to help your team.”
In the last two years, the Orioles drafted Ryan Flaherty and T.J. McFarland, both of whom stayed with the team the entire season.
“That’s more in the minority than it is the norm,” Duquette said.