Hardy no longer an option at shortstop for Yankees

New York must look elsewhere for Jeter's replacement after veteran re-signs with O's

Hardy no longer an option at shortstop for Yankees

BALTIMORE -- The Yankees plan to be in the market for a shortstop this offseason, and their list of options diminished by one on Thursday as J.J. Hardy and the Orioles reached an agreement on a three-year contract extension.

With Derek Jeter's retirement, Hardy, 32, had been floated as a prime candidate to take over the position. After early discussions with Baltimore stalled, Hardy found common ground with the club on a pact that will pay him $40 million plus an option for the 2018 season.

With Hardy off the market, the Yankees could consider re-signing Stephen Drew, who didn't turn in much of an audition for the role of Jeter's successor after being obtained from the Red Sox to play second base on July 31.

After rejecting a qualifying offer from the Red Sox and sitting out until late May, the 31-year-old Drew batted just .150 (21-for-140) with three homers and 15 RBIs in 46 games for New York.

"If I could take a year back and kind of re-start it, it'd be this year, offense-wise," Drew said.

Despite that performance, the Yankees may consider that Drew is one year removed from a season in which he hit 13 homers as the starting shortstop on Boston's championship club.

New York has infielder Brendan Ryan under contract for one more season at $2 million, but Ryan batted just .167 in 49 games this past season and projects more as a defensive reserve.

The Yankees project to give a solid look at free agents Hanley Ramirez, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jed Lowrie. On the trade front, the Blue Jays' Jose Reyes, the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins and Alexei Ramirez of the White Sox could draw the Yankees' interest.

One option that does not presently appear to be in play is a deal for the Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki, who created a stir in July when he attended a Yankees game as a fan to see Jeter play and has been mentioned often as a possible trade target for New York.

Tulowitzki underwent left hip surgery in August, ending his season. The Rockies have consistently denied any interest in trading the four-time All-Star, who is under contract with Colorado through 2020.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.