The Baltimore Orioles and shortstop J.J. Hardy have agreed to a three-year contract extension worth approximately $40 million.
The deal includes an option for 2018.
Jeremy Conn of 105.7 The Fan first reported the news of the pending extension. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal first reported the terms of the deal and said there could be an additional option year on the contract.
Hardy was one of several key players set to become a free agent after the 2014 season. Designated hitter Nelson Cruz and outfielder Nick Markakis are also scheduled to be free agents. Rosenthal reports that Baltimore is pushing to complete a deal with Cruz.
According to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com, out of that group, manager Buck Showalter was especially adamant that the team attempt to re-sign Hardy.
Hardy was originally acquired by the Orioles in a trade with the Minnesota Twins after the 2010 season. He signed a three-year contract extension with the team in 2011.
In four seasons with the Orioles, Hardy is batting .259 with an on-base percentage of .301. He has also hit 86 home runs. This season, Hardy is batting .268 with nine home runs.
The shortstop has won the AL Gold Glove at his position each of the last two seasons. He won the Silver Slugger and was an All-Star last season, as well.
Hardy spent the first five seasons of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers, which included his first All-Star appearance in 2007.
The news of the extension comes as the Orioles prepare to play in their first ALCS since 1997 after sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS. Hardy went 3 for 10 with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored in the series.
Baltimore hasn't played in the World Series since 1983. The Orioles open the ALCS against the Kansas City Royals on Friday in Baltimore.
- Ben Estes