Monday, November 7, 2011

Contemplating Michael Cuddyer

Michael Cuddyer : 680 games
in the outfield, 210 at first
base, 171 at third base, 79
at second and one as a
pitcher in the major leagues.
Reports out of Philadelphia have the Phillies hot on the trail of Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer, whose wife is pregnant with Twins, reportedly would like to get his free agency stuff out of the way before the little Cuddys come.

We've known all along that there would be suitors for Cuddyer. Other teams that have been linked to him include the Red Sox, the Cubs, the Rockies, the Giants. Some of them make more sense than others, but the Twins were not looking at a buyers market for him.

And I've reconciled myself to the notion of a Cuddyer-less 2012 Twins. Sure, there's a place for him on the roster -- but he'll turn 33 before the next season begins, and a three-year contract for him doesn't make long-term sense. On a one-year deal, he blocks nobody; beyond that, he gets in the way of youngsters like Joe Benson and Chris Parmelee.

Cuddyer is a Type A free agent. Assuming that the current system of draft pick compensation for rated free agents remains in place this winter, he's worth a couple of draft picks for the Twins if he leaves, for the Twins would certainly offer arbitration. (If he's intent on signing before his wife gives birth, he'll sign before the deadline to decide and the question will become moot.)

Let's say Cuddyer signs with somebody else. I would expect Trevor Plouffe to be first in line for the "right-handed stick who plays multiple positions, none of them particularly well" job. (If Cuddy leaving takes Plouffe finally and officially out of the shortstop mix, it's a bonus.)

Right field might be, for a year or so, filled by a platoon of Rene Tosoni and Plouffe (although Ron Gardenhire typically avoids straight platoons, it makes sense with that pair), or the Twins could use a one-year stopgap while they wait for Benson. (I come back, again, to Ryan Doumit.)

Who takes on the "vocal clubhouse leader" job ... that's another question.

1 comment:

  1. It's a question Terry Ryan can answer now