An early surprise at the start of the free-agent Hot Stove season is the Colorado Rockies’ decision to give 35-year old outfielder Michael Cuddyer a $15.3 qualifying offer.
That’s bad news for the Mets, who were reported to be interested in Cuddyer. There’s no way the Mets will go that high, especially for a player who missed two months because of hamstring issues.
Sure, he won the NL batting title in 2013, but that was two years ago. He only hit 10 homers last season, and only hit as many as 20 twice since 2009. For an average defender, that’s not a lot of right-handed power.
Even more discouraging is his average of playing in only 93 games in each of the past three years. I can’t see the Mets paying over $15.3 million for a part time player with declining production.
By keeping Cuddyer, the Rockies could be shopping Carlos Gonzalez, but he’s no bargain either. Injuries limited him to only 70 games last season.
Gonzalez will make $16 million, $17 million and $20 million in the next three years. In 2010, Gonzalez, 29, hit 34 homers with 117 RBI and a .376 on-base percentage and .974 OPS, by far his best season.
But that was four years ago and he had protection in the order from Troy Tulowitzki.
There’s been speculation for years the Mets would mine the Rockies for Tulowitzki and/or Gonzalez, but they were too pricey. Then it was Cuddyer, but they won’t afford him, either.
Time to look elsewhere.