JJ Hardy: Disappointing?

7-11-2010: J.J. Hardy in action during the Tigers vs Twins game in Detroit at Comerica Park.

Source: Yardbarker

Erin already tackled JJ Hardy last week (or whatever it was), but I came across a MLBTR post today looking at potential suitors for Derek Jeter, and the Twins were mentioned. Here is the blurb:

Twins – J.J. Hardy is a non-tender candidate after a disappointing first season in Minneapolis, so the Twins could be in the market for a shortstop this winter.

There are a number of problems with this, so let’s tackle them one by one. First off, JJ Hardy has been anything but disappointing. While his .312 wOBA isn’t great, it’s only ~5 runs below average, and Hardy isn’t known for his bat anyways. His defense has been worth 7 runs, ranking him 2nd in the AL to Alexi Ramirez. And, even taking into account the fluxuation of defensive statistics, Hardy has proven that he is a true +6-+8 defender at short.

Hardy is making $5.1 million this year, and will stand to make somewhere in the 5.5-6 million range next year, a far cry from the nearly 20 million that Derek Jeter will command. While Derek Jeter has been a better player than Hardy (duh), not so much that he is worth an extra 15 million. To look at their $/WAR, JJ Hardy has been paid 12.4 million over the past three years, while being worth 9 wins (I extrapolated his 2010 numbers to get to 2.7, given that there is roughly a third of a season left), meaning he is being paid roughly 1.38 million per win.

Jeter, meanwhile, has been paid 61 million over the past three years for putting up 14.5 wins (again extrapolating his 2010 numbers) for a $/WAR of roughly $4.21 million.

While Jeter is the better hitter than Hardy, the Twins need defense much more than they need offense. Their wOBA of .344 is third in the league, while their defense is either 6th (using UZR) or 8th (using DRS). Removing Hardy from the team and adding Jeter makes them a little better offensively, but it makes them a disaster defensively. So thanks anyways, MLBTR, but I’ll save ~15 million and keep the team better all the same.

Tags: Derek Jeter JJ Hardy

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