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Michael Cuddyer more and more likely to stay in Minnesota

Dec 5, 2011, 11:41 AM EST

Minnesota Twins v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Getty Images

Early on this offseason Michael Cuddyer seemed all but certain to leave Minnesota, as the Phillies met with him in Philadelphia and several other contenders were linked to the veteran outfielder.

However, most of the rumors surrounding Cuddyer have quieted down of late and LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that “agents now are speculating that Cuddyer will end up back with the Twins” and it may only require a two-year contract because the market for him has been less than expected.

Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com writes that re-signing Cuddyer remains the Twins’ focus and Darren Wolfson of KSTP-TV reports that Minnesota hasn’t even set up a face-to-face meeting with outfield alternative Josh Willingham despite being linked to him last month.

  1. Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Serves him right for sitting in that wading pool until it froze around him.

    • Marc - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:00 PM

      He’s not wading around. He’s waiting for Beltran to sign to (A) set the market and (B) create more demand for himself. There are, let’s say, five teams trying to sign Beltran. The four that lose will all be calling him and Willingham and professing how they wanted the two of them all along.

      He will not sign with the Twins unless he loses patience in the market himself, and by doing so signs prematurely. If Beltran and Willingham had both been off the market for the last two weeks, I’d agree with Aaron. But as it stands now Cuddy is doing exactly what every position player who’s #2 or #3 on the free agent market should be doing, waiting for #1 to get overpaid.

    • sknut - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:08 PM

      Well Gator, the waters do tend to freeze a bit early in these parts.

      • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:35 PM

        It’s not nice to play with Ice Nine up your way, is it?

      • wlschneider09 - Dec 5, 2011 at 1:41 PM

        Nice, a Vonnegut reference in a baseball chat. This place is special.

  2. jontler - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    I really wish the Twins would move on from Cuddyer. Going after Willingham nets a younger, better overall player and allows the Twins to still net the draft picks that are attached to Cuddyer. The price difference, unless the market for Cuddy has really dried up, is likely to be small.

  3. Bryz - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    This drives me crazy. Willingham is the better player and could probably be signed to a comparable contract, but the Twins will stick with Cuddyer because he’s familiar and a good clubhouse presence.

    • jodermann - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:17 PM

      Yep, those sound like terrible reasons to keep Cuddyer around.

      Are we even certain Willingham wants to go to Minnesota?

      • kopy - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:28 PM

        But they are great reasons to keep your girlfriend around.

  4. kjkulsrud - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    Whoa whoa whoa… Am I missing something? How is Josh Willingham younger? If you want to get super technical about it he is a month and a half older than Cuddyer… less major league experience… no 30+ homer seasons…

    When it comes down to it the Twins would be better off spending the money on Cuddyer. He is a fan favorite and literally held that clubhouse together last year.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/willijo03.shtml

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/cuddymi01.shtml

    • jontler - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:30 PM

      Whoops, definitely screwed up the younger thing.

      Everything about him being a better hitter than Cuddyer and it being more worthwhile to let Cuddyer walk to get the picks holds, though.

      • kjkulsrud - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        How is Willingham a better hitter than Cuddyer? The only year he has hit above .277 (only 5 points above Cuddyer’s career avg.) was 2005 when he only appeared in 16 games with 28 at bats.

        On the bright side, I was just mentioned in Gleeman’s tweet for idiotically using the word “literally” – I think I need to sleep more… :)

      • jontler - Dec 5, 2011 at 1:04 PM

        You have to look at more than batting average. Willingham gets on base and slugs more than Cuddyer, and he can hit righties dramatically better than Cuddyer can (.356/.470 career OBP/SLG for Willingham versus righties compared to .327/.435 for Cuddy).

      • wlschneider09 - Dec 5, 2011 at 1:47 PM

        You can look at all kinds of things, and I just don’t see much difference. Willingham might have more power, but i doubt he’d do any better with Target as his home stadium. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

        I think we as fans have this tendency to assume something different is automatically something better. Hence our fascination with all those prospects.

      • jontler - Dec 5, 2011 at 2:17 PM

        Even if we pretend that Cuddyer and Willingham are identical, it still makes more sense to sign Willingham. Both are type A’s, but the Twins are at the top of the first round and so they sacrifice their second rounder instead of their first. Whoever signs Cuddyer is likely to be in the back half of the first, and thus will net the Twins a later first round pick. Plus: supplemental picks for all!

        That said these are not identical players. Willingham is a significant upgrade over Cuddyer against righties, and that’s what the majority of the pitchers in the league are. It should not be discounted so easily.

      • wlschneider09 - Dec 5, 2011 at 3:29 PM

        Draft picks? Now you’re reaching…

        Sign whichever one is the best deal. Screw the draft picks.

      • kjkulsrud - Dec 6, 2011 at 11:33 AM

        Yeah cause draft picks really help you next year, or the year after, or the year after… this isn’t the NFL… the chances of a draft pick making an impact in the next 4 years is very nil…

  5. aarontzach - Dec 5, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Cuddy made 10.5 mil last year, Willingham made 6 mil. The Twins should only keep Cuddy around if the price is going to come down a bit. And please please please no more than 2 years!

  6. notdumb - Dec 6, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    cuddyer is a prime example of how the sports media affects the value and status of players. CUDDYER IS NOT A VERY GOOD PLAYER. hes turned in one year worth what we have been paying him for around five years now. it made me laugh earlier in the year when they offered him 2 yrs 16 mil and everyone said it was a slap in the face, what a joke cuddyer being a nice guy with a friendly face and kissing anyone with a microphones behind doesnt make him an all star

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