Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mets gamble in signing of Cuddyer

The Mets want their fans to believe that they are ready to open up the wallets and go for it. That would be easier said than done. The Mets made a move this week, signing free agent Michael Cuddyer to a two-year $21 million contract just days after he rejected a qualifying offer from the Colorado Rockies.

The Mets did give up a lot for him. By signing Cuddyer they gave up their first round pick in the 2015 draft, a draft pick that was basically rewarded to the Rockies, who lost a player after their offer was rejected.

On the positive side, Cuddyer has done something that not many players have done in several years, he wanted to come to New York and play for the Mets. That's correct. Cuddyer grew up in Norfolk Virginia, once the home of the Mets Triple-A affiliate, and the home of Mets third baseman David Wright. Wright and Cuddyer have grown up together, and word on the street is Wright wanted Cuddyer to come to the Big Apple.

Cuddyer's desire to play for the Mets, combined with his track record of clubhouse leadership should be a boon to a Mets franchise that for the most part is still in a rebuilding phase. He was once a very productive hitter for the Minnesota Twins, and, two years ago hit .331 with 20 home runs and 84 RBI.

However that is where all the good comes to an end regarding this signing. There is reason for concern because Cuddyer is coming off an injury riddled season in 2014, in which he only played in 49 games. In three years with the Rockies, Cuddyer became a pure Coors Field hitter, meaning he only hit consistently well in the thin air of Denver, Colorado compared to away from it. Case in point, Cuddyer hit .329 in three years at Coors field, but was hitting around .270 away from Coors. Also, he hit only .167 at Citi Field in that time span.

Plus, he'll be 36 years old on Opening Day, and with concerns about his durability, this feels more like a patch work move that could eventually blow up in the Mets' faces much like the Chris Young signing did last season. Cuddyer has no real position on the field. He could play both corner outfield spots, and first base, but the Mets don't need anymore platoon players -- they need to three main guys who can start in the outfield on an daily basis. They still don't have that.

This is a rather strange move for the Mets, one that we will have to watch before making a final judgment. Some will point to the fact that the Mets spent money as a moral victory, but until they start spending that money wisely, any move made by the New York front office will come with skepticism.

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