Orioles sign J.J. Hardy to contract extension

The Orioles announced today that they have signed shortstop J.J. Hardy to a three-year contract extension through the 2014 season.

Hardy, 28, was acquired by the Orioles from the Minnesota Twins on December 9, 2010 with minor league in fielder Brendan Harris in exchange for minor league RHPs Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson.

Through 65 games this season, Hardy is batting .278 (71-255) with 13 home runs, 34 RBI and 22 multi-hit games. He is batting .315 (17-54) with runners in scoring position and currently ranks fifth among Major League shortstops with an .825 OPS.

Hardy currently leads Major League shortstops with a .994 fielding percentage and is fourth in range factor per 9.0 innings. His nine home runs in June are the second most home runs in a calendar month for a shortstop in club history.

He was an All-Star in 2007 with the Milwaukee Brewers, batting .277 with 26 home runs and 80 RBI. He averaged 30 doubles and 25 home runs over a two-season span in 2007 and 2008. Hardy batted .268 with a .714 OPS in 101 games last season, his first in Minnesota, and was fourth in range factor per 9.0 innings among AL shortstops.

Entering 2011, Hardy owned a career .830 OPS against left-handed pitching and was fifth among active shortstops with a career .978 fielding percentage. In five seasons with Milwaukee prior to joining the Twins, Hardy averaged 114 games per season, batting .262 with a .751 OPS.