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The importance of a J.J. Hardy bounce-back


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Did the Mets pick up some of the last year?

No official word.


Mets officials clammed up when asked whether they paid Cuddyer, who had $12.5 million coming to him in 2016, a buyout. Cuddyer, asked the same question in a telephone news conference Saturday, said, “It’s not something that I need to talk about. I will say that in handling the situation, the Mets were first-class all the way. It was a unique situation. Jeff [Wilpon, Mets COO] handled, it and the Mets handled it, with tremendous respect and tremendous class the whole time.”

But "respect" and "class" generally translates as cash in athlete speak.

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It's my nature.

I share you optimism on Hardy.

Reports from Fan Fest are encouraging:

Asked about the shoulder at FanFest, Hardy said, "Good, strong. I got started working out earlier this year than I ever have. I think I've got about seven weeks under my belt now. It feels strong. Everything's feeling good.


"I'm actually holding more weight than I've ever done. It's a little bit different than anything I've done in the last 15 years, but I figured I'd try something different as I'm getting older. I think it's working."

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It's a big if for sure. IF Hardy has an average year of 92-ish OPS+ it would be a tremendous upgrade in the lineup over last year's Hardy, E. Cabrera and friends. And Hardy could still be the #9 hitter.

In 2012, Hardy had an OPS+ of 81 (raw OPS .671) and was still worth 3.2 rWAR and we went to the playoffs. In 2014, Hardy had an OPS+ of 90 (raw OPS .682) and was still worth 3.3 rWAR and we won the division title. In other words, Hardy doesn't need to be spectacular offensively to be a player who helps us win. But he needs to hit better than last year's dismal performance, and he needs to be healthy enough to stay on the field and play his usual brand of defense.

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It will be an achievement if he breaks .600 OPS in 2016. I don't see him hitting those mid-.600 projections. I hope he proves me wrong, though.

I'll be extremely disappointed if Hardy posts a sub-.600 OPS. I think the projections I saw are pretty reasonable. Of course, a lot depends on his health.

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