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Grading the Deal: Mets Sign Michael Cuddyer To $21M Deal

By Andrew Perna

The New York Mets unofficially opened free agency on Monday by signing Michael Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million contract. Cuddyer will earn $8.5 million in 2015 and $12.5 million in 2016 under the deal.

The 35-year-old turned down a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Colorado Rockies to sign the contract with the National League East club. Prior to agreeing to terms with the Mets, Cuddyer had been considered a strong candidate to become the first Major League player to accept the offer, which was instituted prior to the 2013 season.

Cuddyer receives the security of an additional season and $5.7 million. At his age and coming off a season in which he registered only 205 plate appearances, two years, especially at $12.5 million, makes passing up on a chance to hit the open market in just one year worthwhile.

Grade for Cuddyer: A-

The decision to extend Cuddyer a qualifying offer, which initially looked questionable, now looks brilliant. They lose his production, but gain a draft pick from the Mets as compensation. That pick will come on the first night of the draft, a huge windfall for a franchise that is looking to rebuild. That seems inevitable with reports indicating that they’ll listen to offers for Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.

Colorado will miss him in the lineup -- he hit .332/.376/.579 in limited time -- but having him for another season or two wasn’t going to change their place in the standings. He contributed 1.2 WAR in 49 games, which doesn’t project out to an above-average figure even had he played 150 or so games.

The Mets are expected to play Cuddyer alongside Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares, while many have suggested that he’ll also log time at first base to allow Lucas Duda into the lineup as an outfielder. Duda struggles against left-handed pitching, while Cuddyer has thrived in his career.

Critics point to Cuddyer’s numbers over the last three seasons (.307/.362/.505) and the thin air at Coors Field, but he was effective on the road as well. The Norfolk, Virginia native had a .286/.332/.463 slash line away from Coors Field during his tenure with the Rockies.

New York is hoping Cuddyer will at least approach his 2013 numbers when he took home the NL batting title (.331/.389/.530) over 130 games and 540 plate appearances.

Grade for Mets: B-

Cuddyer’s salary isn’t exorbitant, but it could become an albatross if he can’t stay off the disabled list. His injury woes aren’t limited to 2013. He has played in 150 or more games only three times in the last 11 seasons.

The Mets appear to have placed a soft cap on their 2015 payroll of $100 million. With Cuddyer earning $8.5 million, New York would appear to approaching that limit. They have $62.55 million committed to their roster and another $28.5 million expected to come through arbitration, bringing that grand total (including Cuddyer) to approximately $99.55 million. Sandy Alderson may be able to trim some payroll by dealing Bartolo Colon ($11 million) or Daniel Murphy (arbitration, likely around $8 million).

If a trade isn’t on the horizon, any additions the Mets make over the remainder of the offseason will likely come via trade. They have the young pitching to make big moves, it’s a matter of getting the right return and loosing their grip on some of those prospects.


Complete List Of 2015 MLB Free Agents

By RealGM Staff Report

The San Francisco Giants have barely had time to finish celebrating their third World Series victory in five years and free agency is already upon us. Below is a list of all of baseball's free agents and their age. Once agreements are made, we'll up date the list to include each player's club.

Catchers

J.P. Arencibia (29)
John Buck (34)
Ryan Doumit (34)
Chris Gimenez (32)
Nick Hundley (31
Gerald Laird (35)
Russell Martin (32)
Wil Nieves (36)
A.J. Pierzynski (38)
David Ross (38)
Geovany Soto (32)

First Basemen

Daric Barton (29)
Billy Butler (29)
Mike Carp (29)
Michael Cuddyer (36)
Corey Hart (33)
Adam LaRoche (35)
Mike Morse (33)
Lyle Overbay (38)
Carlos Pena (37)
Mark Reynolds (32)

Second Basemen

Emilio Bonifacio (30)
Mark Ellis (38)
Rafael Furcal (37)
Jonathan Herrera (30)
Brandon Hicks (29)
Kelly Johnson (33)
Ramon Santiago (35)
Rickie Weeks (32)
Josh Wilson (34)

Shortstops

Clint Barmes (36)
Asdrubal Cabrera (29)
Stephen Drew (32)
Jonathan Herrera (30)
Jed Lowrie (31)
John McDonald (40)
Hanley Ramirez (31)

Third Basemen

Alberto Callaspo (32)
Jack Hannahan (35)
Chase Headley (31)
Kelly Johnson (33)
Donnie Murphy (32)
Chris Nelson (29)
Hanley Ramirez (31)
Mark Reynolds (32)
Pablo Sandoval (28)

Left Fielders

Melky Cabrera (30)
Mike Carp (29)
Endy Chavez (37)
Tyler Colvin (29)
Nelson Cruz (34)
Chris Denorfia (34)
Cole Gillespie (30)
Jonny Gomes (34)
Tony Gwynn Jr. (32)
Scott Hairston (35)
Reed Johnson (38)
Jason Kubel (33)
Ryan Ludwick (36)
Nyjer Morgan (34)
Mike Morse (33)
Alfonso Soriano (39)
Josh Willingham (36)
Chris B. Young (31)
Delmon Young (29)

Center Fielders

Emilio Bonifacio (30)
Endy Chavez (37)
Nyjer Morgan (34)
Colby Rasmus (28)
Chris B. Young (31)

Right Fielders

Nori Aoki (33)
Endy Chavez (37)
Tyler Colvin (29)
Nelson Cruz (34)
Michael Cuddyer (36)
Chris Denorfia (34)
Scott Hairston (35)
Torii Hunter (39)
Nick Markakis (31)
Alex Rios (34)
Nate Schierholtz (31)
Ichiro Suzuki (41)
Yasmany Tomas (24)
Chris B. Young (31)

Designated Hitters

Billy Butler (29)
Ryan Doumit (34)
Adam Dunn (35)
Jason Giambi (44)
Jonny Gomes (34)
Corey Hart (33)
Raul Ibanez (42)
Jason Kubel (33)
Victor Martinez (35)
Kendrys Morales (31)
Delmon Young (29)

Starting Pitchers

Brett Anderson (27)
Scott Baker (33)
Chad Billingsley (30)
A.J. Burnett (38)
Chris Capuano (36)
Bruce Chen (38)
Kevin Correia (34)
Gavin Floyd (32)
Jason Hammel (32)
Aaron Harang (37)
Roberto Hernandez (34)
Josh Johnson (31)
Kyle Kendrick (30)
Hiroki Kuroda (40)
Jon Lester (31)
Colby Lewis (35)
Francisco Liriano (31)
Paul Maholm (33)
Justin Masterson (30)
Daisuke Matsuzaka (34)
Brandon McCarthy (31)
Brad Mills (29)
Franklin Morales (29)
Brandon Morrow (30)
Felipe Paulino (31)
Jake Peavy (34)
Wandy Rodriguez (36)
Ervin Santana (32)
Joe Saunders (34)
Max Scherzer (30)
James Shields (33)
Misael Siverio (24)
Kevin Slowey (31)
Carlos Villanueva (31)
Ryan Vogelsong (37)
Edinson Volquez (30)
Randy Wolf (38)
Chris Young (36)

Closers

Jason Grilli (38)
Casey Janssen (33)
David Robertson (30)
Francisco Rodriguez (33)
Sergio Romo (32)
Rafael Soriano (35)

Right-Handed Relievers

Mike Adams (36)
Matt Albers (32)
Burke Badenhop (32)
Andrew Bailey (31)
Matt Belisle (34)
Heath Bell (37)
Jared Burton (34)
Joba Chamberlain (29)
Jesse Crain (34)
Kyle Farnsworth (39)
Jason Frasor (38)
Kyuji Fujikawa (34)
Luke Gregerson (31)
Matt Guerrier (36)
Luke Hochevar (31)
Jim Johnson (32)
Matt Lindstrom (35)
Jeff Manship (30)
Nick Masset (33)
Daisuke Matsuzaka (34)
Dustin McGowan (32)
Jason Motte (33)
Pat Neshek (34)
Juan Carlos Oviedo (33)
Chris Perez (29)
Sergio Santos (31)
Kevin Slowey (31)
Tim Stauffer (32)
Jose Veras (34)
Jamey Wright (40)

Left-Handed Relievers

Joe Beimel (38)
Craig Breslow (34)
Sean Burnett (32)
Phil Coke (32)
Neal Cotts (35)
Scott Downs (39)
Zach Duke (32)
Tom Gorzelanny (32)
Andrew Miller (30)
Franklin Morales (29)
Josh Outman (30)
Joe Thatcher (33)

 

This list was put together using the tremendous resource that is MLB Trade Rumors.


MLB Rankings For End Of 2014 Regular Season

By RealGM Staff Report

The Opsera is a statistic RealGM Executive Editor Chris Reina created in order to objectively rank teams by how well they hit (OPS) and pitch (ERA). 

In order to determine the Opsera rating for each, we take their OPS, multiply that number by 10 to move the decimal point over one place to the right and then subtract their ERA from that number.  

All statistics are through the end of the 2014 regular season.

Rankings from last week are in parenthesizes.

(1) Washington Nationals – 4.11

(2) Los Angeles Dodgers – 3.98

(3) Baltimore Orioles – 3.91

(4) Pittsburgh Pirates – 3.87

(5) Oakland Athletics – 3.78

(6) Los Angeles Angels – 3.70

(7) Seattle Mariners – 3.59

(8) Detroit Tigers – 3.56

(9) Cleveland Indians – 3.50

(10) San Francisco Giants – 3.49

(11) Milwaukee Brewers – 3.41

(T12) St. Louis Cardinals – 3.39

-- Kansas City Royals – 3.39

(14) Toronto Blue Jays – 3.36

(15) Tampa Bay Rays – 3.28

(16) Atlanta Braves – 3.27

(17) New York Mets – 3.24

(18) Miami Marlins – 3.16

(19) New York Yankees – 3.12

(20) San Diego Padres – 3.07

(21) Cincinnati Reds – 3.02

(22) Chicago Cubs – 2.93

(23) Colorado Rockies – 2.88

(24) Philadelphia Phillies – 2.86

(25) Boston Red Sox – 2.83

(26) Houston Astros – 2.81

(27) Chicago White Sox – 2.79

(28) Minnesota Twins – 2.56

(29) Arizona Diamondbacks – 2.52

(30) Texas Rangers – 2.40

 

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