Orioles open extension talks with shortstop J.J. Hardy

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According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, Orioles president Andy MacPhail has reached out to the agent for shortstop J.J. Hardy to begin negotiations toward a long-term contract extension.

Hardy was acquired this winter in a bargain trade with the Twins and has impressed the Orioles with both his offense and defense since returning from an early-season stay on the disabled list.

Through 50 games played, the 28-year-old Hardy is batting .303/.367/.548 with 11 home runs, 13 doubles and 30 RBI. He’s also playing his usual brand of top-flight defense at the shortstop position.

The O’s are hoping to get something done before the end of the regular season, and maybe even before the July 31 trade deadline. As of now, Hardy is slated to become a free agent this November.