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On Michael Cuddyer’s future with the Rockies

Dec 16, 2011, 11:08 PM EDT

Michael Cuddyer Getty Images

The Rockies decided to ante up $31.5 million for Michael Cuddyer‘s age 33-35 seasons on Friday, so I thought it’d be fun to look at what some similarly productive players have done in those years.

Cuddyer had a 117+ OPS from 2009-11, his age 30-32 seasons. Since 1995, there have been 10 other corner outfielders with an OPS in the 115-120 range and at least 1,000 plate appearances from ages 30-32. Here they are, along with their OPS+s for ages 30-35, with 33-35 in bold.

Dante Bichette: 111, 129, 112, 103, 108, 102 (104 from 33-35)
Ron Gant: 145, 125, 83, 114, 96, 106 (104 from 33-35)
Geronimo Berroa: 116, 117, 120, 62, 56, 74 (62 from 33-35)
Matt Stairs: 131, 132, 92, 115, 118, 142 (125 from 33-35)
Tim Salmon: 119, 135, 98, 133, 122, 67 (118 from 33-35)
Rusty Greer: 124, 110, 104, 91, –, – (91 at 33)
Kevin Millar: 131, 110, 117, 98, 111, 106 (105 from 33-35)
Ichiro Suzuki: 130, 113, 106, 122, 102, 129 (117 from 33-35)
David Dellucci: 96, 126, 123, 68, 136, 40 (80 from 33-35)
Milton Bradley: 161, 100, 80, 91, –, – (91 at 33 in 2011)

So, this isn’t really a list of similar talents, but it does illustrate what tends to happen to above average regulars as they start to get into their mid-30s. Occasionally you’ll get a Stairs, but the players here most similar to Cuddyer — Bichette, Gant and Millar — all turned into borderline regulars at 33-34.

And that’s the big problem with the Rockies’ signing. It’s arguable whether Cuddyer was even worth $31.5 million from age 30-32, and he was a far better bet for those three seasons than he is for these next three.

  1. dondada10 - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    Any way you slice it, this one makes you scratch your head.

    • polegojim - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:15 PM

      Typicaly bonehead Rockies move, absolutely par for the course.

      Forgive my continued DISDAIN for the Rockies organization… wait, nevermind, don’t forgive me.

      The Rockes deserve every bit of head scratching and disdain they receive.

  2. rgledz - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    Cuddy has been one of the most reliable, quality ballplayer’s over several years. Quality guy, quality player who shows up every single day. I think he deserves a little more respect than he’s getting.

    • JBerardi - Dec 17, 2011 at 9:53 AM

      Age is no kinder to “quality guys who show up every single day” than it is to anyone else. Respect the data.

    • paperlions - Dec 17, 2011 at 11:11 AM

      He was a 3 win player during his very best seasons. Never had a wRC+ better than 125 (which is nice, but not great), and he probably won’t hit that level again. His defense has always been bad and it won’t get better with age.

      Being a great guy and good player is great…but does it warrant this kid of expenditure for a team on a budget?

    • Bryz - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:58 PM

      Take another look at his offensive numbers and then tell me how he’s been “reliable” over his career.

  3. btwicey - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    As a twins fan I’m glad someone else paid him this coin, he’s not sexy but he’s solid.

  4. tacklemeelmo - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    At least in my heart there will never be another player like Matt Stairs.

    • APBA Guy - Dec 17, 2011 at 10:34 AM

      Truly. The Wonder Hamster was a fan favorite wherever he played. We remember him fondly here in Oakland, and his 5 year average OPS+ of 127, including a 153 in 1997.

  5. purnellmeagrejr - Dec 17, 2011 at 7:59 AM

    He has a PwSI index of .5 – On the surface this looks bad but given that one of the comps is Miguel Cabrera the sample is skewed as Miguel Cairo doesn’t make up for it.Mike Cameron is the most similar for his age and gestalt.

  6. rgledz - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Career fielding percentage of .985…….wow, that’s awful! The guy hits for power, he’s clutch and he plays quality defense in RF, 1B, 2B, 3B and he has a cannon for an arm. Not too many in that category. He won’t be an overpaid no count that gets hurt all the time like Jose Reyes and Joe Mauer who constantly miss the majority of the season. I know the sabermetric D bags can’t wrap their heads around non- stats like that, but having a quality guy that doesn’t test positive for PED’s, stays out of trouble and does a ton for the community has a tremendous value as well. He’ll play everyday where ever you need him whether he’s fully healthy or not and he’ll put up good numbers and earn his money. That’s the kind of ballplayer he is. Get bent stats geeks.

    • Reflex - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:18 PM

      Um, his defense is terrible on the infield, and his fielding percentage does not reflect the fact that he has no range, if the ball isn’t hit at him its getting by him.

      And there is no such thing as clutch. And even if there were, given the Twins’ playoff record over the past decade I don’t think you could apply the ‘clutch’ label to any of them.

      And yes, there actually are a lot of players like Cuddyer. The Twins just signed a guy almost exactly like him, actually.

    • rhandome - Dec 17, 2011 at 4:34 PM

      Jose Reyes games played per season since becoming a full-time player: 161, 153, 160, 159, 36, 133, 126.

      Joe Mauer GP/season: 131, 140, 109, 146, 138, 137, 82. And smart teams give their catchers one day off a week. No star catchers play everyday.

      Fielding pct.??? Lol. “No-count”? Ahahaha. Clutch? PEDs? At least put some effort into your dumb trolls…

    • jwbiii - Dec 17, 2011 at 8:26 PM

      “Career fielding percentage of .985…….wow, that’s awful! [H]e plays quality defense in RF, 1B, 2B, 3B”

      “He’s awful, but he can be awful just about anywhere!” is my takeaway from your comment.

  7. atribecalledtwolves - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    rgledz,
    He’ll play every day? Cuddy has also served his fair amount of time on the DL. Also, when was the last time he played third? He only played second because of last-second injuries and those were appearances while admirable, were not “quality”.

    As a Twins fan, just about everything about Cuddy but $31.5 million is overpaying him for a team on a budget no matter how you measure it.

  8. atribecalledtwolves - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    oops I meant “As a Twins fan, I will miss…”

  9. rgledz - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    Rhandome rejoices! “Hehe (snort) hehe (snort) how bout them stats! Now I need to get back to my dungeons and dragons before mom calls me for dinner” Congrats sir, you have the time to look up and record stats. What a productive Saturday for you!

    • Reflex - Dec 19, 2011 at 2:37 AM

      Sure beats trolling.

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