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Hardy close to extension with O's

The Cardinals best, most reasonable chance to upgrade at shortstop seems to be going by the boards.

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, late of the Milwaukee Brewers, was thought to be available because of Baltimore's non-contender status and the fact that he will be a free agent at the end of the season.

But, amid reports that the player and his current team have bid talking about a contract extension, the Baltimore sun reports that Hardy thinks he might ink a new deal with the Orioles before the All-Star Break is over.

According to the Sun:

Hardy didn’t want to comment specifically on the negotiations, but he acknowledged that he was optimistic with the dialogue the two sides have had. If the Orioles can’t reach an extension with Hardy before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, they would likely consider moving the sure-handed shortstop who is batting .278 with 13 homers and 33 RBIs. Hardy struggled on the road trip, going 5-for-40 (.125), though two of those hits were home runs.

Hardy has made it clear that his main goal is re-signing with the Orioles, who acquired him before the season in a trade with the Minnesota Twins for minor league relievers Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson.

“If it doesn’t get done during the break, hopefully we’ll make some good progress,” Hardy told the Baltimore paper.