Michael Cuddyer Rumors
Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd continued a busy offseason today by making his biggest move yet. The Rockies have agreed to sign Michael Cuddyer to a three-year, $31.5MM deal.
Cuddyer, 32, hit 20 homers and posted a .284/.346/.459 line in 584 plate appearances for the Twins this past season. After 11 seasons in Minnesota, the Excel Sports Management client has a career line of .272/.343/.451. Cuddyer spent considerable time at three positions in 2011: right field, first base and second base. He has also played third base and left field at the Major League level, so Rockies manager Jim Tracy will have lots of places to pencil his new player into the lineup.
This isn't the beginning of a Marlins or Angels-like free agent shopping spree for O'Dowd. The Rockies cleared payroll for Cuddyer earlier this month, sending Huston Street and Ian Stewart to National League rivals in trades.
One suitor for Carlos Beltran likely disappears now that the Rockies have Cuddyer. As Troy Renck of the Denver Post points out, Seth Smith's role becomes uncertain with the addition of Cuddyer. He would become a bench bat or a trade candidate if the Rockies use Cuddyer in the outfield.
The Twins, who signed Josh Willingham for $21MM over three years this week, will obtain two top draft picks for losing Cuddyer, since they offered the Type A free agent arbitration. However, it will not cost the Rockies a draft pick to sign Cuddyer under modified rules for ranked free agents.
Cuddyer ranked 11th on MLBTR's list of the offseason's top free agents. When Tim Dierkes looked at Cuddyer's free agent stock in September, he anticipated that his market would be in the three-year, $30MM range.
Mark Buehrle, Jonathan Papelbon, Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes and C.J. Wilson are the only free agents to sign for more guaranteed money this offseason. This is first time O'Dowd has lured a major free agent to Colorado since 2000, as Renck notes and our Transaction Tracker confirms (minimum $10MM deal).
- The Rockies are "growing increasingly confident" that they will sign Cuddyer, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, who adds that Colorado is now the favorite to ink the veteran.
- The Rockies are leaning toward Cuddyer over Carlos Beltran, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter).
- The Phillies remain in the mix for Cuddyer, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding.
- Some executives believe the Orioles may be bidding for Cuddyer, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. However, FOX reports that Cuddyer is not a leading concern of GM Dan Duquette's.
- A Twins official told Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he wouldn't rule anything out, Cuddyer included. Christensen doesn't get the sense that Minnesota has pulled its three-year, $24MM offer.
- However, one of Jon Heyman’s sources says there doesn't appear to be room in the Twins’ budget for Cuddyer now that they’ve agreed to sign Josh Willingham to a $21MM deal.
- The Red Sox did not enter the bidding for Cuddyer this week, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Rockies and Mariners remain in the mix for Cuddyer, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- Troy Tulowitzki told Troy Renck of the Denver Post that he won’t object if Colorado signs Cuddyer. "I think our lineup is one of the better ones in the National League, but it would be huge to get another bat," Tulowitzki said. "I have heard nothing but good things about Cuddyer.”
We learned yesterday that the Rockies' offer to Michael Cuddyer is greater than the Twins' three-year proposal in the $25MM range. However, Cuddyer appears to be seeking a three-year, $30MM deal. Here's the latest on the free agent outfielder with the most recent updates up top:
- GM Terry Ryan says the Twins have not ended contract talks with Cuddyer, according to ESPN.com.
- The Mariners are in on Cuddyer and the Phillies may be involved as well, according to Yahoo's Tim Brown (on Twitter).
- The Rockies continue discussing a deal with Cuddyer, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding (on Twitter). If the sides agree to terms, the Rockies will start pursuing free agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda less intensely.
- There's no official word that Cuddyer isn't returning to the Twins, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (on Twitter). Minnesota seems to be nearing a deal with Josh Willingham.
- The Reds have some interest in Cuddyer.
John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer talked to Reds GM Walt Jocketty; here's the latest.
- Jocketty says his pursuit of starting pitching has been "very frustrating" and he's not close on anything. The Reds have been linked in rumors to Gio Gonzalez and Jair Jurrjens in recent weeks.
- The Reds have made some progress on an extension for Brandon Phillips.
- Jocketty has contacted the agents for recently non-tendered players Joe Saunders and Ryan Theriot, and the Reds also have some interest in Michael Cuddyer depending on his asking price. They won't be submitting a bid on Yu Darvish.
Michael Cuddyer is drawing lots of interest and with Josh Willingham agreeing to sign with the Twins, it won't be long before the market for Cuddyer becomes easier to read. Here are the latest details on Cuddyer:
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com say (on Twitter) that the Mariners are talking to Cuddyer as well.
- The Rockies offer to Cuddyer was larger than the three years and $25MM the Twins offered him, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). Cuddyer is seeking $30MM+ and has been mulling Colorado's offer for days.
- The Twins maintain that their deal with Willingham is not yet finished, and that they are still talking with Cuddyer according to Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune (on Twitter).
- There has been no immediate movement between the Rockies and Cuddyer following the news of Willingham's agreement with the Twins, reports MLB.com's Thomas Harding (on Twitter).
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports that there is at least one team besides the Rockies pursuing Cuddyer, and it's hardly a given that he heads to Colorado (Twitter links). The Giants and Red Sox are not the teams interested in Cuddyer, according to Morosi (Twitter links).
- Cuddyer's original asking price was $36MM over three years and he continues to seek $30MM for three years, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- A person close to Cuddyer told Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he'll likely decide on his next team within three or four days. It appears that the Twins' most recent offer to Cuddyer -- $24MM over three years, according to Christensen -- is essentially a final offer. Jason Kubel remains high on the Twins' list as well, but the team will sign just one of Willingham, Cuddyer and Kubel.
- The Twins are feeling some confidence that they'll end up with either Cuddyer or Willingham, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- Earlier today, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that the Rockies are pushing for Cuddyer or Carlos Beltran.
The Rockies are expressing strong interest in Michael Cuddyer and Carlos Beltran in an attempt to sign one of the free agent outfielders, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). They have offered Cuddyer more than $25MM over three years, which is what Minnesota offered him earlier in the offseason.
Beltran, 34, hit .300/.385/.525 with 22 homers for the Mets and Giants in 2011. The Giants were not allowed to offer Beltran arbitration, so he won't cost a draft pick. Cuddyer is a modified Type A free agent who won't cost a draft pick either.
It's been a busy day for the Rockies, who agreed to terms with Kevin Slowey on a 2012 contract, non-tendered Ryan Spilborghs and Cole Garner and officially announced their deal with Ramon Hernandez. Here are more details on the team:
- GM Dan O’Dowd told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that the Rockies have not made Michael Cuddyer an official offer (Twitter link). The Rockies appeared to be pushing for the versatile free agent earlier today. They expect they'll have to surpass the Twins’ three-year, $25MM offer to obtain him, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports (on Twitter).
- Hernandez will earn $3.2MM in 2012 and the same amount in 2013, Renck tweets. The contract doesn’t include a signing bonus, but does have “standard” incentive clauses.
- O'Dowd has interest in re-signing Spilborghs for less than he would have made through arbitration, according to Renck (Twitter link). MLBTR had projected a $2MM salary for the outfielder.
The Rockies are making an aggressive push for Michael Cuddyer, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Cuddyer is believed to be seeking a three-year, $30MM deal, and the Twins remain in the mix. Cuddyer does not appear to be close to a decision, tweets Scott Miller of CBS Sports.
Cuddyer, 32, hit .284/.346/.459 with 20 home runs in 584 plate appearances this year. Cuddyer's versatility would be useful to the Rockies, as he's able to play the infield corners, second base, and right field.
Some links to check out as we await tomorrow night's non-tender deadline..
- As expected, the Yakult Swallows filed posting paperwork on outfielder Norichika Aoki Monday morning in Japan, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.
- Free agent Michael Cuddyer's decision will be huge news and could happen soon, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Morosi adds that the decision will have a big impact on the Twins' and Rockies' plans.
- Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com spoke with Mark Buerhle who said that he hopes to return to the White Sox in some capacity after his four-year deal with Miami is through. The veteran also said that the Sox didn't make him an offer after the Marlins put their deal on the table.
- Free agent left-hander George Sherrill is drawing interest from the Royals, Phillies, Blue Jays, and Mariners, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The Rockies were also said to be targeting the veteran last week.
- Even though the two sides were reportedly talking on Tuesday, the Red Sox aren't discussing a deal for Carlos Quentin with the White Sox, tweets Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. Earlier today we learned that Quentin has come up in talks with the Blue Jays, though those discussions have apparently cooled.
- The Indians are in on all "non-[Prince] Fielder" bats, including Josh Willingham, but don't have much financial flexibility, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Tribe is after a right-handed bat and the club has been linked to Derrek Lee, Andruw Jones, and Mike Cameron among others.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post (via Twitter) doesn't see catcher Eliezer Alfonzo returning to the Rockies but could see the club going after someone like Jeff Mathis if he is non-tendered. Mathis, 28, was shipped from the Angels to the Blue Jays on December 3rd for left-hander Brad Mills.
- Craig Breslow, who was traded to the Diamondbacks along with starter Trevor Cahill on Friday, first heard of the deal via Twitter, not the A's front office, writes Katie Dowd of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Former Mets General Manager Steve Phillips likes the Astros' hire of Jeff Luhnow as GM and believes that he understands how to operate a small market team, writes Stephen Goff of Examiner.com.
1:36pm: The Rockies are focused on Cuddyer, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Should they lose out on the long-time Twinkie, they'll turn that focus to Willingham.
1:24pm: MLB Network's Jon Heyman adds the Rockies to the list of teams still eyeing Willingham, but doesn't go as far as calling them a "finalist" as Camino did with the Indians and Twins (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Willingham market hinges on Michael Cuddyer, because the Twins view Willingham as their top alternative. Rosenthal also mentions the Rockies as a player for Willingham.
SUNDAY, 11:57am: The Mariners are out of the running for Willingham, tweets Nick Camino of WTAM 1100. The outfielder's choice is down to the Indians and Twins, according to Camino.
SATURDAY, 10:32pm: The Mariners and Indians appear to be the front-runners for free agent outfielder Josh Willingham, reports Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio (on Twitter). MLB.com's Jordan Bastian says (on Twitter) that other teams remain in the mix though, including the Indians. Cleveland has not yet made an offer though. The Rockies, Twins, Rays were also in the mix at one point.
Willingham, 32, hit .246/.332/.477 with a career-high 29 home runs in 2011. The right-handed hitter tallied 829 1/3 innings in left field, and also has experience in right field in 2009. First base and designated hitter could be options as well. Willingham's agent Matt Sosnick guessed in October that his client would sign a three-year deal.