When we learned last week that Michael Cuddyer had been extended a qualifying offer by the Colorado Rockies, the speculation was that the Mets' interest in him was over. The team supposedly would be unwilling to surrender its top unprotected draft pick (No. 15 overall) in exchange for a deal with the veteran outfielder.
That speculation was wrong. The Mets announced today that Cuddyer has signed a two-year deal with the team. You can pencil him in as the starting left fielder for Opening Day 2015.
Risky? Sure. A sign the Mets are "going for it" in 2015? You betcha.
The 36-year-old outfielder played only 49 games in 2014 due to a broken shoulder and a hamstring injury, but he still managed to accumulate 1.5 fWAR with a .332/.376/.579 slash line. In 2013, Cuddyer hit .331/.389/.530 in 130 games for 2.4 fWAR.
Those figures will certainly go down now that he's moving from Coors Field to Citi Field, but power is at a premium these days. By essentially trading their 2015 first-round draft pick for an aging outfielder this early in the offseason, the Mets are showing that they intend to compete for the playoffs in 2015.