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Michael Cuddyer was in Philadelphia today for a meet-and-greet with the Phillies

Nov 8, 2011, 8:47 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Getty Images

While the Phillies are close to wrapping up a new contract with closer Ryan Madson, they are also moving aggressively on another one of their primary targets in free agency.

According to Tom Sredenschek of FOX 29 in Philadelphia, Michael Cuddyer was in town today for a meet-and-greet with the Phillies.

Jim Salisbury of confirms Sredenschek’s report while adding that Cuddyer toured Citizens Bank Park and had lunch with Phillies officials. He also met manager Charlie Manuel, who flew in from Florida.

We learned over the weekend that the Phillies were “in serious pursuit” of Cuddyer while Jim Thome said during his press conference Sunday that he has done his part to make a recruiting pitch.

Cuddyer, who turns 33 in March, batted .284/.346/.459 with 20 home runs, 70 RBI and an .805 OPS over 584 plate appearances this season. He appears to be an ideal fit for the Phillies, who could use him in the outfield and at first base if Ryan Howard misses the start of the 2012 season following surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. He also has experience at second base and the hot corner.

Cuddyer’s asking price isn’t exactly clear, but he reportedly turned down a two-year, $16 million extension with the Twins in August. He qualifies as a Type A free agent this winter, so the Phillies would surrender their first-round pick for 2012 (No. 31 overall) to Minnesota if an agreement is reached.

  1. Jonny 5 - Nov 8, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    I guess this is the Ibanez replacement they’re looking for… And I also assume Mayberry will be playing 1st for a good chunk of 2012? But what to do when Howard comes back? Keep him as a back up? Again? J-Roll doesn’t seem to be too happy with the Phillies right now. I’m confused and it’s killing me to find out what happens with SS. I know Cuddyer isn’t SS mat’l. Not at all.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:02 PM

      Jr. plays third. I guarantee that he will get a look there in Spring Training or Cuddyer could play third. If Jimmy isn’t resigned they need to sign Clint Barmes.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:12 PM

        Yikes. Tall and Lanky doesn’t usually equal a good 3rd baseman imo. Although Jr. is much more nimble than most with his size. Maybe he can swing it? I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be the worst 3rd baseman in the NL. What happens to Polanco? I expect him to be good again after surgery actually. It wasn’t so long ago that he was one of the Phills better bats. I’m not ready to give up on him just yet.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:21 PM

        Jr. would be the tallest player to ever play third. Before the Howard injury, it was reported that they were seriously considering Jr. at third. Whether or not that is still true, I do not know. Even if somebody else became the “everyday” 3B, that player would appear to be versatile enough to play other positions. Even in that event, I imagine Polanco will still get plenty of games at third and would spell Utley (who should probably get more consistent time off) at second. I envision a deeper, more versatile team that is able to give their aging roster more frequent days off without losing too much.

    • ncphilliesguy - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:15 PM

      Bye Bye Jimmy, nice knowing ya … now you can fail to run out the rare ground ball (that you didn’t pop up) in SF. The Mini Mart is open for business (just kidding). You have to admire Amaro, at least a little, he may overpay but he goes after what he wants and doesn’t settle.

  2. sknut - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Cuddy is solid but I wouldn’t pay much over 8 million per year for him and it looks like he will get that. I know Ryan said he wanted to reach out to the Twins free agents and be in touch, not sure if the Twins will up their offer or if Cuddy will wait. At this point the Twins should just collect the two draft picks.

    • Kyle - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:15 PM

      I agree. It seems like Cuddyer will get more than I would be comfortable paying him.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 8, 2011 at 9:22 PM

      I will reserve my judgement until I see what the Phillies will offer. 3/24 maybe? Of course, what the hell do I know…Amaro could be offering anything.

    • Francisco (FC) - Nov 9, 2011 at 8:29 AM

      Cuddyer looks to cost the same as Ibanez, at least $10 MM per year. My gut feeling is that Ruben is overpaying for his targets; in both $$$ and years. In Madson’s signing you can make a case that it’s a long term investment to anchor the BP. I just wonder how much money is going to be left after this, there’s still more bench and bull pen pieces to acquire. You still want one utility infielder, so one of Michael Martinez or Wilson Valdez is gone, maybe both with Martinez heading to AAA and Amaro trying to find a better replacement that can hit.

      As for the BP the Phillies have some interesting farm talent that is nearly MLB ready but I believe they still need at least one good RHP for the front end of the BP (And I don’t mean Lidge). They also need another LHP, unless Savery is going to be that other one (Not comfortable with that, but what LHP are on the market?)

  3. areyesrn - Nov 9, 2011 at 6:45 AM

    Phillies are just swimming in money…

  4. uyf1950 - Nov 9, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    Gentlemen, just my opinion but I think the Phillies are looking at 2 years/$22M minimum but more likely I’d say 3 years/$30M minimum. Just a guess on my part but he made $10.5M in 2011 I think it’s probably unreasonable for anyone to expect him to take a pay cut on a per year bases especially on a 2 year deal.

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 9, 2011 at 9:31 AM

      I kind of hope you’re wrong on this uyf. It sounds much like Ibanez signing part deux…. But then again Ibanez went on a good run for 2 seasons too. 2 years 20 and I won’t bitch.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 9, 2011 at 10:05 AM

        My friend, most of the time I’m usually pretty good with these types of estimates. But I will say when I’m wrong like yesterday with Madson I ‘m usually on the low side. We’ll see, if this moves along as quickly as the Madson deal did it shouldn’t take long to find out.

      • hansob - Nov 9, 2011 at 10:09 AM

        Cuddyer could just accept arbitration and get one year / $13M, then likely be a free agent after 2012 without the type A tag, so they are bidding against that, too. 2/20M won’t get it done unless Cuddyer decides the situation is more important than the money.

      • paperlions - Nov 9, 2011 at 10:13 AM

        Ibanez went on a good 2 month run at the beginning of the contract, he wasn’t particularly good for the next year and a half and was horrible last year. For comparison, Matt Holliday was making about $4M/year more than Ibanez was….and people think his contract may have been excessive.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 9, 2011 at 10:42 AM

        Ibanez was above WAR for his first two seasons of his contract. Not great, but good imo. After thinking harder on this, Cuddyer is probably a better deal even if it’s as big as Ibanez had or even slightly bigger as his WAR is better, and the man is much younger than Ibanez was at the time of his signing. Again, it’s not my money, I just appreciate a better team in all honesty.

      • paperlions - Nov 9, 2011 at 11:43 AM

        Replacement level = AAA player.

        Average MLB player = 2 WAR

        Ibanez in the 2nd yr of his deal = 1.7 WAR = not good

    • Francisco (FC) - Nov 9, 2011 at 9:39 AM

      I’m starting to think players should give a slice of their salary back when they under-perform. I mean, after all, players get guaranteed money, teams hardly ever get guaranteed performance.

      • paperlions - Nov 9, 2011 at 10:14 AM

        If teams start giving retroactive raises for young stud players that are paid jack….then I’m on board with giving back when they are old and over-paid….it can’t be a 1-way street.

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