UPDATE: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun adds that the deal is worth between $22-22.5 million over three years. The no-trade clause involves eight teams and Hardy has been assured that he will not be traded this season.
12:38 PM: Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles and shortstop J.J. Hardy have agreed in principal on a three-year contract extension.
No word yet on the specifics, but Zrebiec hears that it’s worth between $7-8 million per season, which is similar to what Buster Olney of ESPN reported yesterday. The contract includes a limited no-trade clause.
There are still some minor details to be worked out and the deal is contingent upon Hardy passing a physical.
Hardy, 28, is batting .275/.333/.490 with 13 homers, 33 RBI and an .823 OPS in 274 plate appearances this season. Though he has struggled to stay healthy in the past, this is a pretty fair deal to lock up one of the better all around shortstops in the league.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera didn’t play in the Tigers’ season finale against the White Sox, but he has officially clinched the AL batting title with a .338 average following Sunday’s action. It’s Cabrera’s fourth batting title in his last five seasons.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon entered Sunday’s season finale with a bit more pressure. He was in a tight race with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL batting title, trailing only by rounding to the fourth place, .3307 to .3306. Gordon went 3-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies while Harper went 1-for-4 in a loss to the Mets. As a result, Gordon officially won the NL batting title with a .330 average. It’s the first batting title of Gordon’s brief career. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins’ last batting champion, doing so in 2009.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels are expected to announce Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Monday. Eppler had been serving as the assistant general manager with the Yankees.
Jerry DiPoto had been the Angels’ GM but he stepped down on July 1. DiPoto later joined the Red Sox in an advisory role, then was named the Mariners’ new GM last week.
The Angels lost to the Rangers in Sunday’s season finale, which eliminated them from contention for the second AL Wild Card spot. They finished 85-77. Most of their regulars are under contract for the 2016 season, but Eppler will have to decide whether to tender contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players while filling in the rest of the roster.