J.J. Hardy would have preferred to re-sign with Orioles sooner

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The Orioles announced a three-year, $40 million extension with shortstop J.J. Hardy back in October, but if Hardy had his way, he would’ve inked his name a lot sooner. Via MASN’s Steve Melewski:

“It kind of went a lot longer than I wanted it to,” Hardy said. “I didn’t think it needed to go that long, but it did. But I told my agent, ‘Listen, this is what I want and I like it in Baltimore. Let’s get to what is fair and make this happen.’ Now that it is done, I’m glad everything worked out as it did.”

It was important for the Orioles to extend Hardy before he hit the open market, as several rich teams including the Yankees and Dodgers made changes at shortstop and that would have driven Hardy’s price up. Despite only hitting nine home runs last season, the 86 he has slugged since the start of the 2011 season leads all shortstops, ahead of Troy Tulowitzki’s 84. The Orioles also saw Nelson Cruz sign with the Mariners, so losing Hardy would have been a crippling blow to their power hitting.

Cavan Biggio hits for the cycle

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Blue Jays second baseman Cavan Biggio hit for the cycle on Tuesday against the Orioles. Cavan, the son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, struck out in the first inning, but bounced back to hit a two-run homer in the third. He followed that up with a single in the sixth, a double in the eighth, and a two-run triple in the ninth.

Biggio is the sixth player to hit for the cycle this season, joining Jorge Polanco (Twins), Shohei Ohtani (Angels), Jake Bauers (Indians), Trea Turner (Nationals), and Jonathan Villar (Orioles). He’s the third member of the Blue Jays to hit for the cycle, joining Jeff Frye and Kelly Gruber. In case you were wondering, yes, Craig Biggio has also hit for the cycle. He did so against the Rockies on April 8, 2002. Craig and Cavan are the second father-son duo to both hit for the cycle, joining Gary and Daryle Ward, Sportsnet notes.

After Tuesday’s 4-for-5 performance, Biggio is batting .230/.361/.425 with 14 home runs and 42 RBI in 379 plate appearances on the season.