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Rockies sign Michael Cuddyer to three-year, $31.5 million deal

Dec 16, 2011, 10:43 AM EDT

cuddyer getty Getty Images

Minnesota made a $25 million offer to Michael Cuddyer at least 10 days ago and signed Josh Willingham to replace him yesterday, and now Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Cuddyer “is in agreement” with Colorado on a three-year, $31.5 million deal.

By avoiding any comments to the media and not giving the Twins a decision for more than a week Cuddyer made it pretty clear that he preferred not to return to Minnesota. It seems unlikely that Colorado was his first choice when the offseason began, but few teams appeared willing to give the 33-year-old right fielder a three-year commitment and obviously calling Coors Field home is a nice bonus for any hitter.

And of course $31.5 million is pretty good money, too. Cuddyer, who was the Twins’ first-round pick out of high school in 1997 and played his entire career in Minnesota, hit .284 with 20 homers and an .805 OPS in 139 games this year and has a lifetime .794 mark.

In addition to saving $10 million in the Cuddyer-for-Willingham swap the Twins also receive a pair of compensatory draft picks, although neither will be in the first round thanks to the Rockies going 73-89 in 2011.

  1. rooney24 - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Thanks for all your effort and hard work with the Twins!
    Best of luck with the Rockies!

    • trevorb06 - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:36 AM

      I 2nd this! Cuddyer as much as I’ve ragged on you, you have always been a class act and you have never given anything LESS than your all. Colorado should treat you well and I wish you the best of luck.

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    Way to severely overpay, Colorado. Cuddyer’s a good guy, but that’s an inflated price tag.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:08 AM

      He is 4 years younger than Raul Ibanez was when the Phillies signed him to the same 3/$31.5 contract, and he has pretty similar #’s and shitty defense that Ibanez had so giving him the exact same money doesn’t seem like too much of an overpay to me.

      • kopy - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:18 AM

        It’s still an overpay. It’s just not as bit of one as Ibanez. The Twins just got a very comparable talent for $10 Million less.

      • wlschneider09 - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:27 AM

        I’ll take Cuddy’s defense over Ibanez ten times over. I know he gets a bum rap cause he was pretty awful in the infield, but he’s a reasonable OF.

      • azvikefan - Dec 16, 2011 at 12:05 PM

        Cuddy was not shitty defensively. He has one of the best arms in the game too.

  3. Francisco (FC) - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    I’m going to hazard a guess that Cuddyer didn’t want to earn one penny less in 2012 compared to 2011. A $31.5 MM salary over 3 years = $10.5 MM AAV.

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Wait, isn’t he a traitor now or something?

    #pujolstoanaheim

  5. imaginesuperbowlwin - Dec 16, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    As a Twins fan, this sucks. The Rockies just got their hands on the new Mr. Baseball. At least he went to the NL and not another AL Central rival.

  6. dluxxx - Dec 16, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    As a Twins fan I’m glad that he got what he wanted and the Twins didn’t overpay to keep his services.

    I liked Cuddy, but at the same time I hated watching him hit against Rightys. This shows to me that it wasn’t a priority for him to stay with the Twins, nor was his decision to leave based on anything but money. He’s going to make 6.5 million more for going elsewhere, and ultimatly, it was money, not a lack of interest from the Twins that made him decide to leave.

    At the end of the day, it is a buisness decision. Professional baseball is a buisness, no matter how much we want to believe otherwise, and typically the highest bidder gets the guy.

  7. Old Gator - Dec 16, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    To paraphrase Levon Helm in The Right Stuff, he’ll enjoy chasing that demon that lives up in the thin air.

    I’m doing a lot of paraphrasing today, for some reason. That’s funny – when I was a kid, I was petrified about jumping out of airplanes.

  8. paperlions - Dec 16, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    You would think that his wife giving birth to twins last week would be taken as a sign from god….but I guess $31.5M could have been a sign from god, too.

  9. tacklemeelmo - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    I guess Glen Perkins doesn’t make very good jerky..

  10. foreverchipper10 - Dec 16, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    Thank god. Maybe now we can stop hearing about him.

  11. dickclydesdale - Dec 16, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    Rockies just flushed 31.5 million down the toilet on this nobody.

    • notdumb - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:32 AM

      HAHA that is the funniest thing i have ever read on this site! and thank you . you are exactly right. we have been overpaying this kiss ass for like 5 years he had one year worth what we paid him last year. i had to pull over and vomit when the local radio idiots said it was a slap in the face when they offered him 2 yrs 16 mil early in the season that would have been fair IF we hadnt grossly over paid him already. cuddyer is a prime example of how the geek sports writers influence the value and status of a player if you kiss the ass of every guy you see with a microphone or pen your value will increase dramatically and cuddyer didnt just kiss ass he was shining shoes and clipping toe nails

  12. nlucas550 - Dec 16, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Blues take down Rangers, concerns with Carlos Beltran, McDaniels’ case for another head coaching gig, and a former Mizzou QB is struggling.

    http://dailygrindsports.wordpress.com/

  13. notdumb - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:41 AM

    rockies fans just wait until you see this awesome beast of a ball player swing at every pitch low and away even if its 3ft outside and if he reads the spin of the ball as a slider he just closes his eyes and swings and if you like double plays get ready to have your SOCKS BLOWN OFF BABY lets see 30 mil divided by how many double plays cuddy hits into in 3 yrs thats like 6 bucks a piece that kind of production doesn’t grow on trees

  14. notdumb - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:50 AM

    another great thing about cuddyer being gone is that our manager who hates anybody with talent and falls head over heels in love with every no talent spark plug fundamental player who comes through the organization has to ad a Y at the end of every players name so i get to say willinghammy for the next three yrs

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