The Rockies shocked the baseball world, and certainly the Mets, when they offered Michael Cuddyer the $15.3 million qualifying offer. Cuddyer would be crazy not to take it. And aside from some hand wringing in Flushing, this is good news for the Mets.
There was talk that the Mets were ready to offer Michael Cuddyer something like a two-year, $26 million contract. It would have been another example of Alderson scraping the bottom of the barrel. Well, that’s not exactly fair. Cuddyer is better than that, but no better than the middle of the barrel. Still, it would have been the easy way out for Sandy Alderson.
Now perhaps Alderson will actually have to take a risk and make a big trade for someone like Yoenis Cespedes, Matt Kemp, Carlos Gonzalez, Jose Bautista or any of the few power hitting outfielders who might be available. These players are far better than Cuddyer, who will be 36 years old on Opening Day. Michael Cuddyer already broke down during his 35-year-old season; what makes anyone think he would be any healthier when he is a year older?
If Cuddyer does not take the money and run, any team with an unprotected first-round draft pick would lose that pick. The Mets are one such team, and sources tell Newsday they almost certainly will not give up that pick for anyone. That’s probably a good idea, especially for a 36-year-old outfielder with an injury history and Coors Field-inflated numbers.
So more work now for Sandy and company.