After a shaky first season with the New York Mets, veteran outfielder Michael Cuddyer has decided to retire after 15-seasons in Major League Baseball.
While Cuddyer saw his role become increasingly diminished throughout the 2015 season as he struggled both in the field and at the plate, Cuddyer never let the struggles deter him from being a leader in the clubhouse. He was usually the go-to guy for the media when David Wright was not available as he was coming back from spinal stenosis, and provided a steady voice for the younger players on the team.
Last winter, Cuddyer signed a two-year contract worth $21 million, and retires with a year and $12.5 million left on the table. The Mets do not owe him anything, and New York now can use that money on another potential free agent signing.
From the on-field standpoint the Mets are extremely fortunate. Cuddyer hit only .259 in 117 games, his lowest batting average in a season since 2003 when he hit .245 in just 35 games for the Twins. As the season wore on, Cuddyer became more of a part time player, especially with the promotion of Michael Conforto and the acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes during the mid-summer. In the playoffs Cuddyer was a deadweight with the bat, collecting only one hit in 11 at bats.
Many have already start speculating that with the extra money the Mets will use that in their negotiations of Yoenis Cespedes. Some fans have even been Tweeting that the Mets have to get Cespedes back. Lets remember one thing, Cespedes was horrible in the playoffs, and showed the world his worts as a 'all or nothing' hitter for long stretches. Yes, Cespedes was wonderfully hot in August, and without him the Mets probably don't make the playoffs, but, if his asking price is in the area of Jason Hayward's $184 million deal with the Cubs, the Mets should pass.
The Mets could go after Denard Span, or even Justin Upton. There are outfielders out there, it doesn't have to be Cespedes. No matter, the money is there now and the Mets need to spend it.