Monday, June 20, 2011

Cuddyer's Contract Push

Where does Cuddyer rank vs. other potential free agents?

The recent news that the Phillies approached the Twins about trading Michael Cuddyer made me wonder...where does Cuddyer rank with the upcoming free agent class of outfielders?

A: Right near the top.

I'm guessing the top guy is going to be Carlos Beltran. His injury history and age (34 years old) likely will mean clubs won't go Werth-crazy about him, but he he's a premier guy who seems to have bounced back.

But Cuddyer is currently in the next group, along with Jason Kubel. I'd add Cody Ross to that group too, and I find them mostly interchangable. A half-step below those guys but similar in age are Josh Willingham, Jonny Gomes and Ryan Ludwick. One could add Juan Rivera too.

JD Drew kind of belong in his own group. He's older than those guys (35) and not doing much this year, but I would think he would draw as much interest as Cuddy, Kubel and Ross.

Then we get to the older guys. Tops might be Johnny Damon, just because he can still play in the outfield. I'm not sure I can say the same thing about Bobby Abreu and Vladamir Guerrero, but they can still hit. I don't think any American League team will touch Pat Burrell with a 10-foot pole, but he'll be available. Raul Ibanez might be re-animated. I suspect Hideki Matsui will be back in Japan soon.

There are some intriguing bounceback guys, too. Carlos Guillen hasn't played yet this year. Magglio Ordonez essentially hasn't either. David DeJesus shouldn't be overlooked.

Still, that means today Cuddy finds himself in the top five of free agent MLB outfielders, and is blessed with being fairly young. That feels to me like a contract that is at least 3 years long, and approaching $9-$10M/year. And if the Twins balk at that price for him and Kubel, they'll be harder than we think to replace.


Anonymous said...

Where was the report of Philadelphia making the trade inquiry?

frightwig said...

Have you had time to draw up a list of teams that might throw big money at a corner OF next winter?

I could see the Phillies wanting Cuddyer to replace Ibanez, while Dominic Brown competes with Ben Francisco for the other corner OF spot.

The Red Sox and White Sox might be shopping. The Giants, if they don't keep Ross--but he probably will be their top target. The Yankees, if they decline Swisher's option (which I suppose could happen if he doesn't play better after the break). Do the Mets have a prospect to replace Beltran? Do the Tigers have a prospect to replace Magglio? Anybody else have a need to buy there?

writerjoel said...

The Twins have to decide on Kubel or Cuddyer, but not both. Cuddyer is, in many ways, more valuabel because he can play anywhere and still slip into the DH role. But $30 million for 3 years? Considering he can arbitrate with the Twins and get, pehaps, $12.5...would any team actually pay him $30 million?

Anonymous said...

Cuddy can't play any defensive position well and if a team is going to pay more because they think he can then by all means. His OBP is average at best and throw in his age I can't believe he gets more than 2 years but more likely 1. The one thing the Twins have in the minors is outfielders. I'd rather keep either Cuddyer or Kubel but not both and trade Young. If Young stays then I'd offer Arbitration to Kubel and see Revere and Benson get shots in 2012 along with Span. The three I mention would make the Twins the best outfield defense in the majors. Benson has power and Revere has speed. Plus you save 21 million if Cuddy, Kubel and Young are gone. Bring Cuddy back for less or Kubel back for a little more and you have a great outfield.

Anonymous said...

I like both cuddy and kubel but we need to trade 1 for sure. Since kubel is hurt and cud's stock is about as hi as it will ever be, my pick is Michael; if you can get some legit help in the bullpen along with a prospect or 2 do it. He isn't worth what he is going to get paid and as much as he has been the guy we've needed at times, we always find someone to step up. You trade cuddyer get a much needed 7th 8th inning type guy and a prospect or 2. Then you roll with dy, kubel, span (when he is back), and revere. And you still have repko too not that he will be up here when everyone is healthy.

walter hanson said...

Anonymous #4:

Have you been watching the same games I have this year. Cuddyer has given great defense at three different positions this year. Too be exact his defense adds to his value. Pluff with his fielding helped make the losing stretch worse.

Walter Hanson
Minneapolis, MN

Anonymous said...

I have been watching and I've seen Cuddy play 2B, RF and 1B. He plays them all poorly. Just because he goes out there doesn't mean he is good. He has terrible range in RF with a good arm. His UZR there isn't impressive. I particularly watched him play horrible at 1B last year. Probably the worst fielding full-time 1B at the time. I saw him play 2B this year and while I didn't see anything glaring he obviously can't play the position or he would BE at the position full time. I assume over more games at 2B his lack of range would show. You probably thought he was great at 3B last year to when it was obvious he couldn't come close to playing the position.