In a rather surprising move, the Mets agreed to a 2 year $21 million contract with free agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer. The fact that they signed Cuddyer isn’t the surprise. The surprise is the fact that they were willing to surrender the 15th pick in the 2015 First Year Player Draft to obtain a 36 year old outfielder that played in a mere 49 games last season after dealing with a myriad of injuries.
Now based on that you would assume that I did not approve of the move? Well that assumption is inaccurate, as I am incredibly happy with the deal. This is a risk worth taking because when healthy Cuddyer can simply hit. He hit .332 with 10 home runs, 31 runs batted in and a .376 on base percentage in those 49 games played. In 2013 Cuddyer won the National League batting title by hitting .331 in 130 games played. The vibe I am getting at here is that if Cuddyer is on the field he can flat out hit. He is a perfect fit to sit in the order between Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson.
This move to me signifies that the Mets are over the rebuilding process and are prepared to put a winner on the field in Queens. Cuddyer himself certainly won’t do that, but it’s a step in the right direction. The Mets assessed the trade market for bats such as Carlos Gonzalez and Yoenis Cespedes, but rather than parting with Zack Wheeler or Jacob deGrom for one of those two they decided(in my opinion correctly) that the player they could get at the 15th overall pick is something they would rather part with than a pitcher of that caliber. You were unlikely to get a player that is better than Cuddyer at a lesser cost than the Mets got Cuddyer.
So now what is next? Another positive in the Cuddyer signing is that the Mets kept all of their chips that they may have traded for an outfielder and can now put that into talks of trade to fill their other need at shortstop. Reports have surfaced that the Mets have had some level of discussion with the Colorado Rockies for All Star Troy Tulowitzki as well as the White Sox’s Alexei Ramirez.
Tulowitzki would be a difficult deal to make from multiple standpoints. He has $118 million in money owed to him and the Rockies reportedly will not pick up a dollar of it in trade talks. Given the Mets financial situation it is hard to fathom them picking up that kind of financial commitment. Tulowitzki also has major injury issues of his own as he is recovering from a torn labrum in his hip and has played no more than 126 games in the last 3 seasons. They could take the injury risk, but the price to obtain Tulowitzki will be substantial as well. Without really speculating the whole possible deal I would imagine the Rockies would not do a deal without the name Noah Syndergaard in it, along with quite a bit more. I think the Mets will continue to engage the Rockies on Tulowitzki, I just do not think that ultimately a deal will happen there.
Alexei Ramirez on the other hand makes a ton of sense for this team. Financially he makes $10 million this year with a $10 million team option for 2016. Ramirez also is not an injury risk, as the 33 year old has not played less than 156 games since 2009, including 4 straight years of 158 games played. The difference is the upside of Ramirez statistically obviously is not at the upside of a Tulowitzki, but he is no slouch. An average season for Ramirez is .276 average, .314 on base percentage, 28 doubles, 16 home runs and 17 stolen bases. That would be a wonderful addition to the Mets lineup to go with Cuddyer to really make this a formidable every day lineup. I also believe they can get away with obtaining Ramirez while keeping the big guns in Wheeler, deGrom and Syndergaard. I fathom the White Sox being interested in Rafael Montero, Jon Niese and maybe Dillon Gee to a degree.
The Mets are not done, not even close. They showed the aggressiveness that a team that wants to win does by signing Cuddyer early and forfeiting the draft pick to make it a reality. They know that they need a shortstop and within the next month here I predict there will be a new one that will help the Mets NOW. The rebuild has been a long and strenuous process, but now the Mets have a potential pitching staff that people in other organizations rave about. They were a couple bats away from being a potential playoff team, and with Cuddyer they are now one away.
For those that have followed before: welcome back! To those that are new to the site: welcome! This is a re-launch of a project that I had probably about a year ago now that was taken away from me due to some rather unfortunate reasons beyond my control. Nonetheless, with a lot of work I am back here to give you information,opinions and hopefully some stuff that will be useful and entertaining to you.
I’ll start to tell you about myself. I am a 26 year old lifelong Mets fan who has been writing/reporting in some fashion about the Mets for the last decade. Yes, my first articles were posted at 16 years old at the defunct SheaBaseball.com. I have written for other sites and formats throughout the years, including my own. St Lucie To Flushing was an idea thought up to give unique perspective on not only the big league Mets, but more specifically the Mets minor leagues and the MLB Amateur Draft. The posts I put out will have the passion of everyone in this fanbase and will hopefully give a different perspective than you read everywhere else.
On the old PSL2Flushing site I had interviews with current Mets players like Matt den Dekker, Dillon Gee, future Mets players such as Brandon Nimmo, and 1st round draft picks for other teams like Sonny Gray, Lance McCullers Jr and Courtney Hawkins. This isn’t a name dropping deal, it’s just giving you a perspective of what kind of things that I enjoy, and feel you would and will enjoy in the future months here.
I am not only a person who will post interviews, but I will have plenty of original pieces about different prospects, top prospect lists, Q+A’s, mock drafts in draft season, and a bunch of other really cool things. I am glad you took the time to read this, and don’t think this will be a slow start. I will be starting with my first original column tomorrow, and have pre-recorded interviews with Marc Carig of Newsday to preview the offseason, and Stuart Johnson, the voice of the Brooklyn Cyclones to break down the players that were on that roster. If you don’t already, please follow me on Twitter @PSLToFlushing.
Come on aboard as we take the virtual trip from the beginning stages at the Mets Spring Training Complex in Port St Lucie, Florida all the way to Citi Field in Queens, New York.