The Cuddyer Signing: Like It or Loathe It?

michael-cuddyer-rox2

 

I am somewhere in the middle on this one. ICYMI, the Mets signed Colorado outfielder Michael Cuddyer yesterday. Didn’t see that coming.

Interesting tidbit: then-prospect Cuddyer was one of the Twins rumored to be coming back to the Mets in the ill-fated Rick Reed for Matt Lawton trade in 2001.

What I like about this signing is that on paper at least, Cuddyer becomes the Mets jack of all trades, filling in at left, right, first and third base. The team’s bench was thinner than the meat sliced at my local deli (sorry, love) for most of last year, so this gives Terry Collins additional options. It allows Collins to pick spots for Lucas Duda and the current or future outfield prospects. By all accounts, Cuddyer is a solid citizen. He is besties with David Wright and we all know about David’s reputation. Most importantly, the Mets added a bat without sacrificing any pitching prospects.

On the downside, Cuddyer is quite long in the tooth and is coming off an injury plagued 2014 campaign. If the team’s budget is indeed that tight, they probably have squandered resources better applied elsewhere. It is interesting how back loaded his two-year deal is. I guess this means that they won’t be resigning Daniel Murphy or Bartolo Colon past 2015. He also cost them their #1 2015 draft pick, but IMO, the bellyaching about that is somewhat unfair, considering the shape of the Mets farm system and the time it takes to develop prospects. Remind me again, what round was Jacob deGrom drafted in?

This signing probably means either Eric Young Jr.’s or Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ days at a Met are numbered.

Met fans in the post-2006 era have been conditioned to expect the worst. For us the worst could run to either extreme, (a) being that the Cuddyer signing represents the centerpiece of their offseason remake and that he is penciled in for 600 at bats. Or (b) the early signing signals that the team is about to embark on a “damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-ahead” philosophy and the next move is a multiple pitching prospect deal for all of Troy Tulowitzki’ s salary.

So how about you? Like this signing or hate it? Let’s hear it.

And Happy Veterans Day to all who served or who are serving.

 

 

A Mets fan since 1971, Dan spent many summer nights of his childhood watching the Mets on WOR Channel Nine, which his Allentown, PA cable company carried. Dan was present at Game 7 of the 1986 World Series and the Todd Pratt Walkoff Game in 1999. He is also the proud owner of two Shea Stadium seats. Professionally, Dan is a Marketing Manager in the Bulk Materials Handling industry. He lives in Bethlehem PA with his wife and son, neither of whom fully get his obsession with the Mets.
  1. Bat November 11, 2014 at 4:25 pm
    I’m not crazy about this deal due to (1) the surrender of a first round pick and (2) use of $21 million of the Mets (apparently) limited capital on this aging (aged?) outfielder.

    In respect of (1), citing the round in which deGrom was drafted is misleading. On a probability basis, first round picks are much more likely to pan out than (for example) a ninth round pick like deGrom. You can always point to guys drafted in middle or later who became successful because the MLB draft is 40 rounds plus compensatory picks and of course some guys taken after the first round or close thereto will pan out, but on average they are much less likely to turn into contributing major leaguers than first round picks.

    With respect to (2), if the Mets budget for 2015 is as low as Alderson indicated in the latter part of the season, I’m not sure I want to spend $8.5 million this coming year and $12.5 million in 2016 on an outfielder-1B’s age 36 and 37 seasons. Maybe the payroll will be higher in 2016 so that is not a big deal and we just think about this as $8.5 million in 2015? Still that makes me cringe a bit when I think of an aging 36 and 37 outfielder whose raw numbers were inflated by Coors Field.

    I know Lagares is a terrific CF, but is it necessary to test his skills by flanking him with Cuddyer (age 36 season in 2015) and Granderson (age 34 season in 2015)?

    On a collateral note, although both Cuddyer and Granderson are both sub-par defensive players I think Granderson is still moving to LF because while Cuddyer will be no better in RF than Granderson, I think the Mets envision that Cuddyer will split time with MDD or Niewenhuis, both of whom would be much better RFs than Grandy.

    • argonbunnies November 11, 2014 at 10:15 pm
      Granderson’s arm is a complete liability and needs to be moved to LF regardless of any other factors. Every inning with Curtis in RF is an inning with opponents jogging first to third on every line drive single in his vicinity.
    • DaveSchneck November 12, 2014 at 9:35 am
      Bat,
      Overall I like the signing. I’ll grade it a B. Sure there is risk in Cuddyer’s health and defense, and they did lose the #15 pick due to a savvy move by the Rockies’ new GM, but the signing still makes sense on a lot of levels and needs to be judged against the alternatives. I won’t list them all here, but I think the Mets deducted, and correctly, that the cost in current players to acquire a legit RH OF bat that can handle the middle of the lineup would be equal or greater in salary and cost more developed talent than the 15th pick. I agree. While Cuddyer is not top notch, he is a professional RH bat with some pop that is a tough out in most every at bat. While he is no defensive whiz, he should perform better in Citifield RF than Coors RF canyon, and he will have a gold glove CF next to him. Moving Grandy to LF is also an upgrade (as AB says getting him out of RF). Cuddyer can also play some 1B as more insurance against Duda’s inability to hit LHP. He seems to be a good leader, so that intangible helps. Perhaps most importantly, it puts Alderson in a position of strength for the trade market, and acquiring a SS upgrade and a LHP for the pen. The opportunity exists to add a pretty good SS to the mix without parting with any top tier pitching prospects. That would be tremendous. And, Alderson can really take or leave any deal as he could go with Flores and even Tejada or a lower cost glove first backup if the prices are insane, with Reynolds as a third option. A guy like Brad Miller from Seattle makes a ton of sense, adding a lefty bat with some potential, keeping Flores and Murphy, and having multiple options in the middle of the infield and in the batting lineup while keeping those young arms could be the best way to proceed.

      Lastly, Cuddyer provides some insurance against Wright not performing or needing surgery on that shoulder.

      • TexasGusCC November 12, 2014 at 9:32 pm
        Agree with everything Dave wrote until his opinion about Miller (sorry, I want a further advanced player that I KNOW is better than Flores), except I would like to add something:

        I believe the Mets signing Cuddyer certainly threw a monkey wrench into the Colorado plans. They offered Cuddyer an offer they were sure he wouldn’t refuse so that they had the resources to trade CarGo. Now by losing Cuddy, they cannot just ask for good prospects back but have to add a MLB bat somehow. Yes, they got a first round pick – maybe the 33rd or 34th or something like that – but getting the best prospects was what they were going for.

  2. david November 11, 2014 at 4:32 pm
    I like it. To begin with, it lets the Mets disaffected fan base know that Sandy is paying attention and has at least a little money to play with. The reluctance to pull the trigger on deals over the last few years has been frustrating, so it is nice to see the Mets in front of other teams and trying to fill their needs.

    Cuddyer also hits right handed with power, and his ability to play different positions justifies the money which is, after all, only a 2 year deal. His reputation and playoff experience make the deal almost unassailable in my opinion. For those that worry about his health, the fact is guys get hurt all the time at all ages. The real question is will his bat speed slow and cause his average and power to plummet. Possible, but worth the risk.

    The 1 thing that jumps out at me about this deal is that the Mets must deal Grandy or Cuddyer between now and the end of the 2016 season. That, and the fact that Sandy musty be working on some interesting deals and this allows him to move EY, Kirk or MDD to get talent in return. Of that bunch, I continue to think Kirk is the best of the bunch but still a 4th OF.

  3. Bat November 11, 2014 at 4:46 pm
    David, you write that guys get hurt all the time at all ages, but one would think that older players get hurt more because there bodies are beginning to break down. I don’t have any stats to back that up, but it just seems logical that a 36 year old player will (on average) be sidelined by injury much more than a 26 year old player.

    EYJ is garbage and will be non-tendered if the Mets have any sense at all. I laughed when I read Cerrone’s post yesterday stating that TC is “alarmingly infatuated” with EYJ: that is the perfect phrase.

    EYJ is not a good big league baseball player and should be non-tendered, meaning that (sans acquisitions) the Mets 2015 OF is Lagares, Granderson, Cuddyer, MDD, and Niewenhuis. Not great, but better than with any of these players exchanged for EYJ.

    • TexasGusCC November 12, 2014 at 9:35 pm
      Puello is out of options but MDD isn’t. Expect MDD in Vegas and Puello on the Mets bench.
  4. david November 11, 2014 at 6:19 pm
    I agree about injuries for older players. But righthanded power is so tough to find and you can’t avoid all risk when signing a FA or making a trade. To me, I can live with Cuddyer’s injury risk. EY should be non-tendered but if we can throw him into a trade before that date arrives then it is a bonus.
    • argonbunnies November 11, 2014 at 10:18 pm
      E.Y. is due to earn more than he’s worth, and will not be tendered a contract by anyone. Once he’s a free agent available for closer to league minimum, though, I do think it’s worth mentioning that he might be the best pinch-runner in the game. If the Mets really plan on playing in October, having a guy you can bring in to steal a base when you need one is pretty sweet.
      • Joe Janish November 13, 2014 at 3:41 pm
        Why not sign Emilio Bonifacio instead and have a legit infield utilityman?
        • argonbunnies November 14, 2014 at 3:03 am
          Good point! For the regular season, that’s probably better.

          Bonifacio’s not in the same league as EY as a base-stealer, though. Over the last two years both guys have had similar playing time (EY has 5 more ABs).
          Bonifacio: 54-16 SB-CS
          Young Jr.: 76-17 SB-CS

  5. argonbunnies November 11, 2014 at 10:12 pm
    I’d forecast Cuddyer for a .254/.316/.424 line in 2015. That’s his career OPS+ of 114 applied to the 2014 Mets’ run environment. Not amazing, but does remove a big hole from the lineup. The price is fair, and I’ll only quibble with the dollars if they’re used as the reason for upcoming bad moves.

    I hope Collins gets over this idea that Duda should face lefties and defensive subs are only for the 9th. Used properly, Cuddyer would be an asset, but if his mediocre fielding is left out there too long and he doesn’t save us from Duda ABs vs lefties, the improvement starts to get pretty marginal.

    One shouldn’t get in the habit of giving away #15 picks, but every once in a while I don’t think it’s a big deal. I’d feel differently about a #7 pick, but the Mets won enough games in the final two weeks of 2014 to take that off the table.

  6. argonbunnies November 11, 2014 at 10:21 pm
    Possibly noteworthy: Cesar Puello is now out of options. His best role on the MLB roster would be as a platoon OF who plays against lefties. Did the Cuddyer move just end Puello’s Mets tenure?
    • Joe Janish November 12, 2014 at 11:33 am
      Who cares about Puello? I don’t get the fascination with him by many fans. He had exactly one decent pro season, and it occurred when he was taking PEDs. Sure, he seems to “ooze athleticism” and “looks” like he could be a great player, but that’s the same kind of thinking that forced Jordany Valdespin up the ladder.

      Puello’s story reminds me a lot of another guy who looked like a great prospect thanks to PEDs – Jordan Schafer. Anyone who ever doubts that PEDs make players perform better, need only look at these two for evidence.

      • argonbunnies November 13, 2014 at 3:10 am
        Just about all of his pro seasons have been “decent” — the roid one was the only one that was spectacular.

        Here are Puello’s skills and tools: Has gotten hit by a ton of pitches every year, at every level, providing a big boost to his OBP. Has the strongest throwing arm of all Mets OF prospects. Is fast enough to be an asset in an OF corner. Has the size that scouts project for power, even when it hasn’t shown up through age 23. Has respectable contact ability for a modern hitter — never a full K per game in any season, and he currently has three straight seasons of declining Ks while advancing levels.

        Here’s his performance: Hit .300 in rookie ball. Hit .292/.375/.359 in A ball at 19. Did have a bad year when moved to A+ at 20: .259/.313/.397. But a lot of top prospects do that. Repeating the level the next year, was doing better but got hurt. Promoted to AA for his age 22 season anyway. Took steroids, saw huge spikes in power and BABIP. Got suspended.

        Add it all up and I’d say the skills and tools provide a tantalizing upside while the performance doesn’t say much conclusive.

        Then we have 2014. The Mets gave Puello irregular playing time, and he got off to a bad start. His playing time eventually increased and his numbers improved, but he never became full-time and he never got red hot. I’m not sure what was going on. Punishment for roids? A priority on giving playing time to guys who might be needed any day in the majors? During their time in AAA, den Dekker, Neiuwenhuis and Andrew Brown all played more than Puello. Brandon Allen appeared in the OF 44 times. But then, on the other hand, the Mets promoted a struggling Cory Vaughn from AA at midseason, a guy who clearly wasn’t MLB ready. So I dunno. Maybe the Mets had reasons for not giving Puello the best shot in 2014, but the fact remains: he didn’t get an ideal opportunity.

        Also worth noting: prior to 2014, he’d had 330 ABs above A ball.

        In light of all this, I don’t think his .252/.355/.393 line in Vegas is that damning.

        He’s like a pitcher who throws 100 mph and slowly works his way up the ladder posting good enough numbers but never anything inspiring. That guy may never amount to anything, but you still hate to lose him for nothing before he’s 24.

        • Joe Janish November 13, 2014 at 3:55 pm
          Wow, I’m not seeing what you’re seeing in Puello, at all.

          First, my definition of “decent” from a minor league player is someone who is coming close to posting the numbers he should be posting. Puello’s main attribute from the time he was signed was his bat and ability to hit for power. He cracked a .750 OPS only three times in seven seasons, and one of those times was .751. In my humble opinion, that’s not a “power” prospect — it’s someone who had better be playing MLB-quality shortstop, catcher, or second base while developing his bat in the minors.

          I get that Puello is seen as toolsy and seems to ooze athleticism, but his projection is as a corner outfielder, and if he’s not hitting for power in the minors, he’s probably not hitting for power, period.

          I wouldn’t mind losing him at this point — he’s not any more tantalizing to me than, again, Valdespin. He needed to be in MLB prior to PEDs testing, and he would’ve been fine. I’m not suggesting the Mets outright release him, but if they don’t have room for him on the roster, and he doesn’t do anything to earn a spot on the 25-man, it’s time to part ways and give the spot to someone else. There are plenty of guys with “upside” who have yet to fulfill their promise — maybe the Mets can find one of those guys to take his place and flourish.

          Have to say one thing though — Puello showed a Ron Hunt-like ability to get in the way of the baseball. 115 HBPs in 577 games!

        • argonbunnies November 14, 2014 at 3:14 am
          I would have been sad to lose Valdespin too, before he had enough big league ABs to prove otherwise. I dunno. I used to ignore hyped athletic prospects, because few of them learn to hit… but after the last few years of watching so many athletically limited players chug around the field while hitting declines, the idea of a prospect with a good glove and wheels and room to grow at the plate becomes pretty appealing.

          I guess corner OF is the one position where the Mets do have some athletes — den Dekker’s range surely outweighs Puello’s arm. You’re right, if Puello played another spot, he’d be a lot more appealing. *Sigh.* I just hate to lose the rare Mets farmhand who (at least at one time) promised EXCITEMENT. Maybe the media can build some buzz for Champ Stuart…

      • Fernando! November 13, 2014 at 10:04 am
        ………………The Teenage Hitting Machine feels slighted, Guiseppe.
  7. DomToretto November 12, 2014 at 12:59 am
    If it’s between signing Cuddyer vs Sandy’s usual “we feel, uhh, that we have enough quality players, uhhh, in house, uhh, to go to battle with, uhhh”. I would take signing Cuddyer.
  8. Dan42 November 12, 2014 at 6:23 am
    It would make more sense if Granderson wasn’t on the team, how many bad outfielders are needed in a “pitcher’s park”?

    Unless the Wilpon’s are suddenly ready to expand payroll, the signing will inhibit payroll flexibility, and add to to next years Wright/ Granderson balloon.

    • Joe Janish November 12, 2014 at 11:35 am
      That’s how I see this: Cuddyer makes sense as a fourth outfielder / corner man who gets into about 120 games — maybe a platoon partner for Granderson. But to the Mets, he may be the big acquisition of the winter and expected to play every day.

      In other words, the Chris Young of 2015.

      • Dan42 November 12, 2014 at 12:03 pm
        Then somewhat like Eric Chavez was with the Yankees and D’Backs, play him every day and it’s DL here I come.
        • Dan42 November 12, 2014 at 12:25 pm
          And unless he’s trying to avoid taxes this year, two years at 5M more than the QO doesn’t reek of confidence in his ability to earn more than that next year.
      • DaveSchneck November 12, 2014 at 2:50 pm
        Joe,
        Not a fair comparison to Young. The Mets will definitely take 120 games from Cuddyer as they will very likely get their money’s worth if he plays that much.
        • Joe Janish November 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm
          The comparison is that last year, Young was the Mets first “big” offensive free-agent pickup of the winter. I have a funny feeling that Cuddyer is the same.

          Also comparing the fact that the Mets expected (hoped?) Young would play 140+ games and hit 20+ HRs. At least, I imagine that’s what they expected considering the $7M contract.

          If Cuddyer plays in 120 games and hits .270 with 12-15 HR, and gives up runs with his defense and baserunning, that’s worth — to the cash-strapped Mets — $21M over two years? Well, maybe you’re right about that. But I’m guessing that Terry Collins will play him every day until he breaks, and the Mets get 50-75 games out of him.

      • TexasGusCC November 12, 2014 at 9:41 pm
        Don’t forget, CY hadn’t had a good year in the previous two, while Cuddyer has had productive seasons ongoing. Yes he was injured three times last year – fractured wrist diving for a fly ball and pulled both hammys – but he showed be productive for the 130 or so games he will play in.
        • Joe Janish November 13, 2014 at 4:09 pm
          Granderson was productive when he was healthy in the two years previous to joining the Mets as well — and a few years younger.

          Cuddyer’s productive seasons also were somewhat (not altogether, but somewhat) helped by Coors, as well as a cast of offensive-minded characters around him. Will the Mets have guys like Tulo, CarGo, Arenado, Rosario, Fowler, Morneau, Dickerson, etc., hitting around him? I’m not so sure. Likely the stats guys will have some numbers to disprove it, but when everyone is hitting well, it seems that, well, everyone is hitting well — they feed off each other, and get into the worst of opposing bullpens earlier than other clubs.

      • crozier November 12, 2014 at 11:08 pm
        I’m sorry, Joe, but that’s preposterous. The Marlin Byrd of 2015 is a more likely scenario. He’s a decent road hitter, he hits to all fields, and he’ll probably do fine at Citi.

        If this is their only move, which I doubt, it doesn’t do much for their chances, unless he springs a great year on us – which does happen from time to time. For now, I like the move enough, which isn’t to say I’m excited. More just nodding my head in general agreement.

  9. Bat November 12, 2014 at 12:37 pm
    I agree with Joe on Puello.

    Guys, the possibility of Puello making the 40 man roster cut is slim to none in my opinion. This past season, he didn’t even play every day in AAA so how much does Mets management really value him?

    If they thought he MIGHT be a piece on the 2015 major league team, he would have been playing every day in order to see what he is (and what he isn’t).

    But the Mets played guys like Andrew Brown and Bobby Abreu in favor of Puello at times, and when Puello played he wasn’t that great even in a prime hitting environment like Las Vegas. Check the stats of Puello vis-a-vis Wilmer Flores, Matt Reynolds, and a bunch of the other Las Vegas regulars – he wasn’t that great.

    But going back to my previous point, how much can the Mets value Puello as a top prospect if he rides the pine a couple times per week in favor of retread guys like Andrew Brown and Bobby Abreu (the latter only a retread at this point in his career obviously).

    On another note, see Cerrone’s post today about David Robertson. If he is the Mets big offseason acquisition, chalk that up to more Mets maneuvers that I don’t understand as the bullpen should be the last thing Alderson worries about unless Alderson has WAY more money to spend than I think. Even if the Mets did want Robertson, I’ll believe the Mets will outbid the Yankees for a free agent that the Yankees want (especially a player who most recently played on the Yankees, i.e., their free agent) when I see it. And please don’t anyone write back citing Granderson because the Yankees didn’t want him back when the Mets signed him.

    • argonbunnies November 12, 2014 at 10:38 pm
      The interest in Puello is due to his annual ranking among Mets top prospects. If our #4 position player is actually useless, what does that say about all the guys behind him?

      I’m not eager to thrust him into an MLB role, but at the same time, it does seem like a shame to lose him for nothing.

      One improvement from Puello’s roid year — a greatly improved eye, with more walks — did carry over into 2014. The overall 2014 results were poor, but they weren’t without ANY reasons for optimism.

      • argonbunnies November 13, 2014 at 2:37 am
        You’re right, though — if Puello is sharing time in AAA and getting passed over for a September call-up, the METS clearly don’t think he’s their #4 position prospect.
  10. DanB November 12, 2014 at 6:11 pm
    There is a philosophy making the rounds in baseball that I have been reading about. The theory is that a team shouldn’t pay to try to be a great team. With the increase in wild card teams, a club could be 500 and still sell their fans on the idea that with a few breaks, you are a playoff team. The cost to increase wins from 75 wins to 85 wins is a hell of a lot cheaper then the cost to go from 85 wins to 95 wins. Call me bitter, but this signing seems to fit this strategy.
  11. Dan Capwell November 12, 2014 at 7:09 pm
    Not hard to read between the lines of Alderson’s comments today:

    http://www.nj.com/mets/index.ssf/2014/11/mets_gm_sandy_alderson_sees_limited_shortstop_market_wont_panic_with_wilmer_flores.html

    That’s All Folks!

    • DaveSchneck November 13, 2014 at 9:46 pm
      Dan,
      Way too early to jump to that conclusion, although I must say that Alderson and the Mets have earned the skepticism/cynicism.

      I echo Crozier’s sentiments above – I am nodding in approval but not jumping for joy. There is clearly risk and downside, but it is nice to see the Mets make an early and aggressive move to improve the big club. But, Crozier’s most important point is that if this is the only, or biggest move this offseason, that will change my opinion and I will grade it a C-. Cuddyer makes sense if he is part of a multi-move improvement, not the big ticket. And, yes Joe J., 120 games from him should be the plan. Not 150. Not a pure platoon guy, be pricey semi-starter, with a guy beside DW that can do damage vs. lefties and takes a little pressure off TDA.

      Getting back to Alderon, he knows damn well that they need more, and he knows he can’t go with up the middle infield D of Flores and Murphy. Yes, and RF can get by with minus fielders, especially with plus plus D in CF, but that infield needs to be tightened up at both 2B and SS without sacrificing offense or parting with too much from the prospect pool. Fairly tall order, but doable. Oh, and did I mention the need for a true leadoff hitter? Sandy will be busy this winter, there is more to come.

  12. DanB November 12, 2014 at 10:02 pm
    By the way, I wish people would stop quoting how much a player is worth in dollar value based on stats. It is not a reality based quantification. Player A may make more then Player B for a lot of different reasons, skill set being just one of them. Also , $1 million means different things to different teams. If your ticket price is a lot more then others, you need a smaller increase in ticket sales to make a million more. Hence, lesser skilled players are worth more to high revenue teams. Also, if a team is three wins away from the playoffs, spending an extra million or two will generate a lot more income then spending money to go from fourth to third place.
  13. Bat November 13, 2014 at 9:43 pm
    If Dan42’s stats on Cuddyer’s home (1.255 OPS) and away (.734 OPS), that is very worrisome for Mets fans.

    The only saving grace may be small sample size for last year?

    Does anyone know what he did for his career at Coors and away from Coors because that is a much larger sample size?

    • DaveSchneck November 13, 2014 at 10:01 pm
      Bat,
      Cuddyer last 3 years overall OPS of .887,at Coors .984 and away .795. .795 on the road is damn good for ny player, and combine that by playing in division road games in mostly pitcher’s parks. Again, Cuddyer has his risks, but if they plan to play him about 110 games in the field, DH him another 10 games or so, replace him late with Den Dekker or another plus glove, and let him PH in the other 40 games or so, he will have the best shot at being healthy and productive. An .800 OPS would a huge win for the Mets.
    • Dan42 November 13, 2014 at 10:02 pm
      You can get to this
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=cuddymi01&year=Career&t=b#site
      from the link I posted, click the PA or games column to sort in that order. Coors is by far his best park after eliminating those with less than 200 PAs.
    • argonbunnies November 14, 2014 at 3:35 am
      Repeating an earlier comment: Cuddyer’s career OPS+ is 114. If he continues to be 14% better than league average, that’d be a .740 OPS on the 2014 Mets (hard to guess how the 2015 Mets will differ). Cuddyer’s career splits divide that .740 OPS into a .254/.316/.424 line.

      So if you want to judge the guy by his whole career, .254/.316/.424 is what you should expect.

      Since joining the Rockies, however, he’s hit 1.5% more line drives, 1.5% more ground balls, and 3% fewer fly balls than his career rates. So if he keeps that up, that would predict a slightly higher average but fewer homers. .260/.322/.419 or something.

      • Dan42 November 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm
        My concern is that much of his rejuvenation was due to Coors, and that removed from that fountain of youth age will take it’s toll. His power declined substantially when Minnesota changed ballparks, and jumped after his first season with the Rockies. He may be a better bet than Granderson, but not one that I would make.

        Career ISO by home ballpark.
        Metrodome ages 22-30 .209 ISO
        Target Field ages 31-32 .174 ISO
        Coors Field ages 33-35 .260 ISO

        • argonbunnies November 15, 2014 at 8:59 pm
          Yeah, most guys his age are in decline. So maybe a little less than the numbers I gave. I dunno, his solid road numbers as a Rockie, plus his stable K rate, made me think his bat hasn’t aged much. The main thing he’s lost is OF range.

          I’d ignore his park stats. Target Field is a total pitcher’s park; Cuddyer’s numbers there aren’t any sign of a personal trend.

  14. Bat November 14, 2014 at 3:21 pm
    DaveSchneck / Dan42 / ArgonBunnies –

    Thank you so much for responding to my comments with answers that were highly relevant – really exactly what I was looking for.

    Thanks for that!

  15. Dan B November 15, 2014 at 12:27 pm
    Is it true that the Mets had a trade for Stanton worked out but it fell through when Alderson wanted a team option for the 13th year? It is officially….young quality hitting is now worth more then young quality pitching.
    • argonbunnies November 15, 2014 at 9:07 pm
      It was actually for the SIXTEENTH year. Stanton’s agent rightly pointed out that A-Rod and Pujols had both signed contracts that got them into their 40s.

      In all seriousness, I’d guess that MVP-caliber hitters have always earned more than CY-caliber pitchers; it’s just that a lot more CY-caliber pitchers have been signed or re-signed lately. And forget “young” — look at what the Tigers gave Miggy!

      • Dan42 November 16, 2014 at 5:54 am
        No reply possible above, but Cuddyer’s power jump at Coors, beyond earlier, presumably career peak numbers at the Metrodome, combined with his 2014 extreme home/away splits (1.255/.731 OPS) are troubling. Batter wise Citi may be better than it was, but it’s likely to be unkind to a slow, aging player with modest power, injury risk aside.
        • DaveSchneck November 16, 2014 at 11:58 am
          Dan,
          All legit concerns, and time will tell, but I suggest that it is best to see the Cuddyer signing from the macro perspective as opposed to the micro perspective. First, regarding the micro, at 36 years old and leaving the confines of Coors, he numbers will almost certainly decline. His defense likely will be below average but not as bad statistically since he is getting out of the vastness Coors and will be flanked by a plus plus CF. He should not be counted on for a full schedule, but 400 professional ABs would be fantastic.

          From the macro point of view, his signing benefits in a number of ways. It impacts the fan base positively, it shows that the Mets, for the first time in long time, have recruited a vet that sees them as having a good shot at winning. This is highlighted by the fact that he actually passed on $15.3 million in 2015 to join the Mets. It also impacts the players on the team positively. For several years, these guys have watched as mgmt. watered down the team during the season. That trend is now being reversed. Specifically, it should take pressure of DW and TDA. TDA can be a very strong bat in the 6th to 7th spot in the lineup. While the Mets only face lefties about 25% of the time, DW should benefit with Cuddyer behind him. While Cuddyer isn’t that big power bat from a HR standpoint, he is still a power bat that can hurt the pitcher, and will likely be the toughest out in the Met lineup when he is in there. Lastly, it positions Alderson much better for continued upgrades this offseason. It did cost the #15 pick, but I would have been more upset had it been a top 8 pick with better odds of panning out. Getting the OF bat without parting with any talent in the system preserves that talent, and allows for more options at upgrading SS and the bullpen. It may actually keep more prospects in the system than dealing for the RH OF bat and retaining the #15 pick.

          Yes, a debatable deal with clear risk, but as part of a multi-step plan for improvement now and going forward it has its merits.