It appears that the first domino of this year’s free agency has fallen.
The New York Mets announced an agreement with outfielder Michael Cuddyer on a two year deal, according to a team announcement. His deal is for two years, $21 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, and he will be paid $8.5 million in 2015 and $12.5 million in 2016.
This quick strike of a move signals to other that the Mets’ front office is not playing around. The signing of Michael Cuddyer represents the aggressiveness of the organization. Despite this, the Mets will have to forfeit a first-round pick (15th overall selection) in the 2015 First-Year Players Draft next June in order to sign the 35-year-old outfielder.
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It was argued by many in the baseball world that Cuddyer may be the first ever player to accept a qualifying offer when he was extended a one year, $15.3 million qualifying offer by the Colorado Rockies. In retrospective, this proves to be a very bold move by the Rockies’ front office, as they will now receive a compensation pick between the first and second rounds.
Cuddyer will join Gold Glove Award winner Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson in the Mets outfield to start the 2015 season, with backup options of Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt den Dekker. It can also be easily assumed that Cuddyer will see some time at first base along with Lucas Duda against left-handed pitching, which he hit .412/.483/.804 against in 58 plate appearances.
In only 49 games last season with the Rockies, Cuddyer slashed .332/.376/.579 with ten home runs and 31 runs batted in, along with 32 runs scored and a .351 BABIP. In addition to those numbers, he put up a .247 ISO, .414 wOBA, 151 wRC+ and a 1.5 fWAR. This is all coming off of a 2013 campaign in which he led the National League in hitting with a .331 batting average, along with 20 home runs and 84 runs batted in.