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So after signing a one-year contract for $2.35 million to avoid salary arbitration, Plouffe has been carrying that familiarly optimistic spring mix of health, happiness and hunger to prove his worth.

“I just want to stay healthy so I can have my first and second half kind of line up and just be more consistent throughout the year,” he said, adding: “It’s a big year for me to step up and drive in some runs and be a big part of the offense.”

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Dave Campbell on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DaveCampbellAP