Thursday, October 9, 2014

Orioles Sign J.J. Hardy to 3-Year Extension, Sabotaging Yankees' Offseason Plans

The Orioles have signed Shortstop J.J. Hardy to a 3-year extension worth $40 million, reports. 

Hardy, 32, was set to hit the free agent market this offseason. To the Yankees, who are now without Derek Jeter, he was seen as a possible 2015 starter, and was widely considered their best available option.

"When we looked at the market, we thought the best chance to sign J.J. was before he went to free agency because he's distinguished himself as one of the top shortstops in the league," O's Executive Vice President Dan Duquette said. "And J.J. let us know that he wanted to continue his career here in Baltimore."

That certainly isn't good news for the Yankees, whose only offensively-strong choice right now seems to be Hanley Ramirez.

"(Free agency) crossed my mind, but at the same time, this is where I wanted to be," Hardy said. "There's a lot of uncertainty in free agency. You don't know what's going to happen. I knew that I liked it here and I liked playing with all my teammates. Bottom line, it comes down to winning, and I think we've got a good thing here."

With this new contract, Hardy will become baseball's highest paid shortstop, now making $13.3 million annually. Prior to his recent retirement, the aforementioned Jeter held that spot, making 15.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)