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J.J. Hardy ponders contract, future at shortstop

The Baltimore Sun

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Gold Glove and Silver Slugger shortstop J.J. Hardy has been very open about his desire to remain in Baltimore beyond the 2014 season, but he said Tuesday that he'd like his future at short to be spelled out during upcoming negotiations.

There has long been speculation that third baseman Manny Machado eventually will be moved back to his primary position even though he won the Rawlings Platinum Glove last year as the American League's top all-around defensive player. Hardy won't rule out a position change under the right circumstances, but has not been asked by either the team or Machado to consider it.

"Obviously, that'll be a question that will be answered before all the contract stuff gets figured out,'' he said, "and I'd like to know. If I'm going to be doing that in a year or two, it would have an impact of some sort."

"To not get too deep into it, if I move positions and then I get traded, I don't want to do that and end up getting traded. There would have to be so much more to it than just signing a deal and then moving to third base because I signed a deal."

So far, there has only been one preliminary meeting between Hardy's agent (Craig Landis) and Orioles officials regarding a contract extension, but Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has said publicly on several occasions that the club wants to lock up Hardy for a few more seasons. Whether the position question creates a serious complication remains to be seen.

"I think I would definitely want to know about it before anything [happens],'' Hardy said. "If that's what their idea is or the plan is, I would like to know about it before and make that decision when it comes. I would want to know what their thoughts are before this deal happens. It might factor in."

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