Friday, December 16, 2011
Rockies Sign Free Agent Michael Cuddyer...Spankee now has a reason to collect a Rockie
The Rockies signed longtime Minnesota Twins right fielder? third baseman? second baseman? utilityman? Michael Cuddyer to a 3 year/$31.5 million deal. Cuddyer does give a much needed punch to a Rockies lineup that was severely lacking in 2011. He hit 20 homers and drove in 70 in Minnesota and averaged nearly 20 homers/year in his his longtime Twins career.
MY THOUGHTS: While it is nice to see the Rockies make their first big free agent splash since the Hampton/Neagle debacle of 2001, there is a lot of questions surrounding this deal.
First, the money. The Twins had already replaced Cuddyer with Josh Willingham, so why did the Rockies increase their offer by nearly 5 million dollars from the reported original 3/27 mil deal? Apparently this deal is why Huston Street was traded for peanuts.
Second, the position. Where is he going to play? He played right field the most last year, but Carlos Gonzalez is playing there. CarGo could shift to left with a Cuddyer/Smith platoon in right with Cuddyer also playing third when Smith is in the outfield. The problem there is Cuddyer isn't very good defensively at third (or second or the outfield for that matter) and do you really want to pay over $10 miliion per year for a platoon outfielder. This seems to make a Seth Smith trade almost inevitable. Maybe I am still burned by last year's "big" signee Ty Wigginton, but this feel like the same kind of deal. I really hope I am wrong in my assessment, but I think Colorado might be paying someone to take Cuddyer off their hands in a year or two.