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Twins haven’t ruled out re-signing Michael Cuddyer even after Josh Willingham deal

Dec 15, 2011, 1:48 PM EDT

Michael Cuddyer Getty Images

Josh Willingham was signed to replace Michael Cuddyer as the right-handed bat in the middle of Minnesota’s lineup, but now that Willingham’s three-year, $21 million deal is finally official the Twins aren’t ruling out bringing back Cuddyer too.

Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that “there is growing hope within the Twins organization that they might be able to re-sign Cuddyer” and the three-year, $25 million offer made to him more than a week ago may still be on the table.

Cuddyer’s lack of response to that proposal seemed to indicate he wanted to move on, but it’s possible he had second thoughts or simply isn’t happy with the other offers coming his way from teams like the Rockies and Mariners.

  1. pmcenroe - Dec 15, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    I don’t know..if they still have money to spend on an OF, I would still rather have Kubel than Cuddyer…

  2. e5again - Dec 15, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Doesn’t that put them over the 100 million dollar payroll budget? Hard to argue that they couldn’t use another OF though.

    • kopy - Dec 15, 2011 at 2:04 PM

      I guess Terry Ryan has said he will go to the Pohlads and ask to go over that budget if he deems it necessary. Maybe, if the Twins’ front office estimates that Cuddyer is the only player the Pohlads would be willing to go over the limit for (instead of pitching), signing him would make sense.

      • pmcenroe - Dec 15, 2011 at 2:21 PM

        but if they are going to raise the payroll, there has to be better uses for the money right? The FO decsion making this offseason seems to be way stranger than in years past. They just dumped Mijares to “save money” and there’s still a gap in the rotation that needs to be filled. Hell the least they could have done was just pay Slowey, stuck him at #5, and let his value raise above solid mattress level before trading him.

  3. Jeremiah Graves - Dec 15, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    Wouldn’t now be the right time to move on some pitching?

    Oswalt? Harden? Wandy?

    Hell, maybe one of the more, un-Cappsian closers on the market?

    • Jeremiah Graves - Dec 15, 2011 at 1:58 PM

      …anyone know if Ben Sheets is still alive?

      • sknut - Dec 15, 2011 at 2:19 PM

        I would rather have it spent on pitching as well. I love Cuddy but its obvious that he has second thoughts about coming back so its time to move on.

  4. dluxxx - Dec 15, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    If they resign Cuddyer, then they have to believe that Willingham will primarily be a DH, or they plan on moving either Span or Revere. The problem with signing two 30+ outfielders is that they have some young OF talent coming up the pipeline soon. I guess if it was me I’d like to see Revere spend one more year at AAA to work on his plate discipline and hitting, but that still means that they have a minus defense in the OF (Span is the only good fielder if they go with Willingham LF, Span CF, and Cuddy RF). Either that or they plan on using Revere as the 4th outfielder, cutting Repko (which is fine), and rolling with an ageing outfield until somebody pushes one of the dinosaurs out.

    The other thing that this could mean is that they really aren’t sure what they’re going to get out of Morneau this year and they need a backup plan. Then perhaps we see Mornaea as DH, Cuddy at 1st, and Willingham in the OF. Also, this probably mean Doumitt is going to be a backup C and will see very little time anywhere else unless injuries plauge them again.

    Dang, that was a mouthfull. Lots of question marks with the Twins this year. I’m interested to see how it all plays out…

  5. sonofshanemack - Dec 15, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Kubel > Cuddyer

    I don’t get the Twins fascination with Cuddy. Sure, he’s a nice guy and a decent player, but he’s no more than an average outfield in almost every way.

    There are better ways to spend that $25 million. Pitching. Pitching. Pitching. Even prospects would be better.

    In three years Cuddy will 36 year old outfielder and probably hit about .250 with 12 bombs. Not only is Willingham a cheaper fit, he’ll probably be as productive as Cuddy.

    Just let him go, take the two draft picks, and whistle while you walk away.

    • Cris E - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:58 AM

      They have very few right handed bats in that lineup, and when Morneau is out they don’t have much power either. And when Morneau was hurt a couple of years ago there was no backup 1B on the roster at all. That last one isn’t hard to fill, but it hadn’t been done beyond Cuddyer.

      So the team couldn’t let Cuddy go until they’d found a replacement for those things. Of course, once they signed Willingham and Douhmit your point was obvious and true, but before that he was filling a lot of holes.

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