Boy, do I feel like a dope. Several days after saying it couldn’t happen, the New York Mets today announced the club signed outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a two-year contract, $21.3 million contract.
It’s a good move because it adds consistency in the middle of the order. Cuddyer, 35, was given a $15.3 million qualifying offer. The Mets got him because they were willing to give him two years.
“Michael is a tremendous addition to the middle of our lineup,’’ Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson said in a statement released by the team. “He is a proven offensive threat who also brings versatility in the field with the ability to play multiple positions.’’
In signing Cuddyer, the Mets will give up the 15th overall draft pick.
Speaking from the GM meetings in Phoenix, assistant GM John Ricco told ESPN: “I don’t think it’s any secret that we’re looking to improve offensively, and there’s not a lot of options out there on the free-agent market or even in the trade market. Based on what we’ve learned, at least to this point, it’s going to be pretty pricey.
“We thought this was a way to clearly upgrade our team and our lineup. … [General manager] Sandy [Alderson] has talked about we’re looking to turn the corner here and start to compete in 2015. I think this is a message that we’re going to be aggressive. Right out of the box we had a guy we liked, and we went and got him.”
In doing so, they filled their need for a right-handed bat in right field. The signing also leaves Matt den Dekker and Kirk Nieuwenhuis on the bench.
Cuddyer is 35 and a two-time All-Star. His best year was in 2013 when he was NL batting champion (.331) with Colorado.
Cuddyer represents consistency and versatility as he can play the outfield, and first and third base. He might be a better right fielder than left, and it is possible Curtis Granderson could move to left.
He’s not the big bopper people might think, but averages 21 homers.