Hall of Fame voter Mark Zuckerman on the 2014 class
J.J. Hardy has made no secret that he enjoys being with the Orioles. Midway through Hardy’s first season with the team, he signed an extension that turned out to be a below market deal, three years at $22.5 million.
Hardy has been another terrific shortstop for a team that’s had many over the years. He’s won the Gold Glove the past two years, and this year added the Silver Slugger and his first All-Star Game start.
With his contract in its final year, the Orioles would like to extend him. At least that’s what Dan Duquette said at the winter meetings.
Duquette has also said that Chris Davis and Matt Wieters should be extended. Those talks, if there are any, have been kept quiet. Wieters is scheduled to go to arbitration next month is there’s no agreement.
Hardy’s contract is the more pressing. Davis and Wieters still have two years before free agency.
Even though his deal was far below that of Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki, who signed later in 2011, Hardy has never exhibited any bitterness about his contract.
If you look at players comparable with Hardy, Stephen Drew is high on the list. Drew hasn’t signed yet, and since he requires a draft pick as compensation, his market hasn’t been active.
Once Drew signs, and last year, he made $9.5 million for the Red Sox. Perhaps then, extension talks with Hardy can begin.
NOTE: WBAL Radio will broadcast 14 Orioles spring games. The first broadcast is Feb. 28 against Tampa Bay. Joe Angel and Fred Manfra return as team broadcasters.