Mets Land was rocked earlier today with the news that the Mets had spent money and surrendered a draft pick to sign a free agent. Michael Cuddyer should start in left field on Opening Day for New York in 2015.
Right after the big news, details on Cuddyer's contract are being reported. He's going to get $21 million over two seasons, with $8.5 million coming in 2015 and $12.5 million in 2016.
The back-loaded deal is another sign that the Mets see 2015 as a chance to contend for the playoffs. With less than half the money being spent next year, the team has more flexibility to make move and improve the current major league roster.
Although the Mets had previously been reported to have been out on Cuddyer, they apparently reconsidered after surveying the trade market.
According to a source, the Mets shifted their thinking on Cuddyer after surveying the free-agent market and after doing a sweep of the trade market. They did not feel comfortable with the expected asking prices for upgrading elsewhere. And from early in the process, Cuddyer in their view represented the best fit in terms of price and need.
With the veteran outfielder in tow, the Mets have plenty of time to focus on improving other aspects of their team, such as shortstop.