Steve Davis: How Do You Do A Deal With J.J. Hardy?
The Orioles are talking extension with the Orioles shortstop, which I think is a great move. The question is, how long do you commit to him and how much do you pay him.
Hardy is only 31. He has put together 3 outstanding seasons in a row. That said, I would try to only extend him 2 more years after this season.
The reason: Hardy is 31. He is playing his 10th season in the majors. if you lock him up for this year and then 2 more, that is 12. That is a long career for a shortstop. If you have to give him a third year, that would put him at 35 starting the final year of the contract. That makes me uncomfortable.
Plus, to be honest, I want the flexibility of being able to move Manny Machado to shortstop fairly soon. I know people say he is a great third baseman, so why move him? What if he is a great shortstop? The Orioles saw him in the minors, we didn’t. If he is great at short, I would move him there. That makes him more valuable. And, to be honest, if I was Manny and I knew I was a great shortstop, I would want to move there too.