SARASOTA, Fla. – J.J. Hardy likes the moves the Orioles have made to improve the team.
“It’s a good sign. I kept telling myself: ‘Maybe the reason we’re not making any moves is we’re a good team already.’ You don’t want to make a move to just make a move. If it makes us better, great,” Hardy said.
“It shows us all that we’re willing to make moves. We’re willing to pay for someone to make us better.”
After signing Ubaldo Jimenez for four years at $50 million, is it time for Hardy to sign an extension. At December’s Winter Meetings, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said he wanted to extend Hardy.
According to the All-Star shortstop, there’s been no follow through.
“All there’s been is talk about talking about extending me,” Hardy said. “I’ve heard what you’ve heard.”
Earlier this month, Duquette reiterated his wish for more years of Hardy at FanFest.
“Even after FanFest, I thought something was going to happen right away because I think you guys were asking Dan. He came up to me and said something about how we’re going to start talking extension, but really nothing has happened, I don’t know. Maybe they were waiting to do some of these other moves or something,” Hardy said.
Hardy is concentrating on preparing for the season, and not obsessing about his contract.
“No. Not at all. It really is out of my control. There’s nothing I can do except play and if they don’t want to extend me, go out there and have a good year,” Hardy said.
“Then, we’ll cross that bridge with whatever happens. I’ve said it. I’ve said it plenty of times, I like being here. If they come to me with an extension, we’ll definitely be open with trying to work that out.”
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Three years ago, Hardy was new to the Orioles. He was set to become a free agent after the 2011 season, but he signed a three-year, $22.25 million deal to stay in Baltimore.
There was some talk that Hardy sold himself short then, but he defends his thinking in signing the extension.
“It was a totally different situation back then. I came off a 2009 season when I got sent down. The next year with the Twins, I played through some injuries. I didn’t have a very good year. Then, it was the following year that I signed a three-year extension. It’s a different situation now. I’ve been healthy for three years. I feel like the market has changed,” Hardy said.
During that time, Hardy was not only been the starting shortstop of the American League in last year’s All-Star Game, but a two-time winner of the Gold Glove.
As Derek Jeter prepares to retire, there’s some chatter about Hardy replacing Jeter in New York next year. The Orioles surely don’t want that to happen.
“I saw that. People have already been talking to me about it. That’s another thing, see what happens first. If nothing happens, we’ll cross that bridge when it gets there,” Hardy said.