Cuddyer as Bridge for 3B


USSM assumes, sensibly, that any Willingham- or Cuddyer-type signing puts the kibosh on a Fielder king-hunt.  Geoff Baker and Jason Churchill demur, saying that if Fielder parachutes into Safeco (sending the tarp crew scrambling madly for cover) that the Mariners are certainly not done.

Baker in fact says that a Willingham- or Cuddyer-type signing makes a Fielder signing more likely, because Prince's main holdup is that he's dubious about the M's playoff chances in 2012.


I think that Michael Cuddyer is likely to hit about what Hanley Ramirez will in 2012.  Consider him a poor man's Hanley.

The beauty here is that you play Cuddyer just enough 3B to bridge for Liddi and Seager.  At such time as Liddi or Seager blow your raincoat up, you can agile-ly move Cuddyer to outfield - or to the McLemore position, getting 130 games all over the field.  

Your timing becomes utterly fluid on Liddi and Seager.  That's worth a whale of a lot, and is the main reason that SSI fancies Cuddyer.


I dunno that $10M per year is going to be any kind of great bargain on Cuddyer.  But, bargains aren't the point.  Building a ballclub is the point.  Michael Cuddyer would be several steps towards having a ballclub.

Am not breaking out the red-and-blue Cuddyer 2012 campaign, but do think he'd be one whale of a 2012-13 bridge player in the Grand Vision.


=== Fantasy Baseball Dept. ===

1.  M's get Yu Darvish on non-payroll funds.  Heh!

2.  Ichiro moves to CF, and, since he's still a fine player there (.300, 40 SB's), they give him a two-year extension, like 2/$20M, as middle ground and to keep their icon in Safeco.

3.  M's sign Fielder.  They keep Smoak at DH for now, planning to flip them in a few years.  Mike Carp plays LF.

4.  M's sign Cuddyer for 3B/RF, and trade for a Seth Smith type to thicken the OF stew.

5.  M's sign a good left hand bat at catcher to platoon with Olivo.  Oh, wait.

6.  The M's shed salary where possible, such as by giving somebody Jason Vargas to take 50% of Chone Figgins' contract.

You wind up with an extreme bat-first lineup, one that asks its pitchers to get outs.  Kinda like the Red Sox and Yankees do.


SP Felix - Pineda - Darvish - Paxton - Hultzen

OF Carp - Ichiro - Smith/Wells/Cuddyer

IF  Cuddyer - Ryan - Ackley - Prince - Smoak DH

C Jaso and Olivo

I've seen worse Red Sox teams lately, I think.


Dr D


ghost's picture

.........a lot. :)
Darvish would cost about 12 million a year in actual payroll, Cuddyer would cost you 9-10 mil a year, we'd eat half of Figgins' contract (4.5 mil), Ichiro is 18 mil this year and 10 mil afterwards, Felix is 19.5 mil, Fielder is 22 mil or so, you haven't gotten rid of Gutierrez' 7 mil in 2013 or 5.5 mil in 2012...that's a VERY expensive club.


On Hot Stove the 14th, Gammons says that he's been on the phone constantly for two days about Darvish.  Back-channel the GM's expect
1.  Rangers ... though Gammons says the Rangers themselves tell him no, no, no
2.  Blue Jays
3.  Mariners
You'd think that the Jays would be the logical fit.  If they have money, but a mandate not to go over 5 years, wouldn't Darvish be the place to spend the cash?  And he can't say no.
Well, he can say no, and go FA next year (to the M's!) but then the Jays would have blocked Darvish at worst.
Money is an obvious problem for Seattle, but they gotta replace Ichiro, to remain Japan's Team.  Who if not Darvish?  As Taro and IceX concede, the golden age has passed for NPB.

M-Pops's picture

Snagging Darvish would be a bold move, and a bigger kick to the Rangers' guevos than losing CJ to the Angels.
If the M's are really willing to go 8 yrs for Fielder, I say dare the Rangers to top you! Bid big for Darvish and then watch Texas squirm. That would really heat up the ol' Hot Stove >:-)

Taro's picture

No Cuddyer please. He'll want more than one-year and is relatively expensive. Hes 33. Hes a poor fit for the park.
Sign a couple Cuddyer types and you're talking Fielder money. Would be a terrible strategic signing IMO. Please pass.


Looks like Cuddyer is seeking 3X$10M, and has already been offered 3 years @ $25M total.  I  don't think the M's are going there unless we dump Figgins first.
I'm willing to bet that Z and the office are looking at an M's team with three potential 3B (and maybe 4) in-house right now.
1. Seager
2. Liddi
3. Figgins (he could, I suppose, in some kind of perfectly aligned universe actually hit .270 and walk another 70-80 pts...although his feeble efforts against hardstuff indicates no)
Plan B: Nick Franklin, in a June call-up, if need be.
Three young guys and one old has been:  I'm not seeing another $10M going to a 33 year old utility guy, and I kind of like Cuddyer.  Minus the $9 going to Figgins, this is a different situation.

ghost's picture

...I liked your plan immensely...and I wish Seattle would pony up the dough to actually try and compete...I just don't think they are really that committed to winning. :(


I’m with moe, and I too like Cuddyer.  One of the reasons I like him is that, unlike Chone, he’s a a GREAT clubhouse guy by all accounts and a leader in the locker room.  Right now our locker room leaders are some mix of Olivo and Brendan Ryan, which is both awkward and short-term.  Yes, it will be Ackley and others shortly, but I’d rather have a guy who’s made runs to the playoffs to be around to show the kids how it’s done.
But with Chone here it’s basically impossible. CHONE was supposed to be the bridge and he failed utterly and completely at that, while still absorbing our "bridge" funds.  We have potentially four 3B within one step of the bigs (Seager on the big club and Liddi, F-Mart AND Catricala who could be in AAA).  Right now dumping Figgins and saving any kind of cash is a fantasy.  Failures with civics are what hamstring your org.
Maybe Seager AND Liddi AND Catricala can’t handle the hot corner and have to move off position.  Okay, we’ve then got Steven Proscia and Brad Miller who will both likely be at AA at some point this year, and either could make the Seager –run up the ladder if they’re hot.  I wish we were waiting on one player (say…Rendon) but but we're waiting for a player to emerge from a raft-full of other players. Seager should be able to bridge and we'll find out if he's capable of being a decent 3B or not.  If it's not him you turn it over to F-Mart or Catricala or whomever.
I also don’t see us adding both Cuddyer and Fielder.  I’ve always thought, going back to the middle of last year, that we’d be trying to get Cuddyer or Kubel in here in the offseason.  Cuddyer is older, but can play 3B and the OF as you say, so he gives some flexibility if you don’t believe Carp is a LF, and Ichiro will be leaving RF after the coming season.  I get that as a bridge scenario...but I can't see the Ms giving him that money JUST to be a McLemore.
If you’re prepared to have Cuddyer + Francis + a backup SS be our offseason, then yay Cuddyer!
I’m hoping that’s not Plan A.


And, believe it or not, he actually appears to want to come back.
How about Carlos Guillen as the "bridge"?
The Erik Bedard of hitters, he'll be 36 and a decent bet to bounce back some from a .244 BABIP (career .319 BABIP).
He says he wants a "super utility" role.
I'm not anti-Cuddyer, but mid-grade RH corner guys don't seem like a good bet for Safeco dollars, and his 2009 season looks pretty flukey.  Take away 09 and his numbers are fairly pedestrian.

glmuskie's picture

Always loved Guillen - never understood why he was run out of town - and Cuddyer is not a good fit IMO.  Too expensive for what we're likely to get from one of our young guys. 
Guillen bats switch.  With some pop.  Great to have on your bench.  He's a tenacious hitter.
McLemore came to the M's as a 35 YO.  Had maybe his best seasons at ages 36 & 37.  That worked out OK.
Make it so!

Taro's picture

Toronto has a ridiculous amount of money freed up. Would be shocked if they didn't make some big moves.
They've done a tremendous job rebuilding in a short period of time and have the best GM in the game IMO.
Bad news if Toronto gets Darvish though.. could bring Texas in on Fielder.


And he had REALLY bad feelings toward management.  He was a 104 OPS+ middle infielder and we threw him overboard for NOTHING, because we thought he was "injury-prone" and that he was a bad influence on Freddy, dragging him to parties, pouring beer down his throat, etc.
So we kicked Guillen to the curb to try to get Freddy under control. 
Guillen didn't appreciate the slurs on his character, not to mention nearly getting him killed with TB and then spit on for playing through it.  He made a point of saying how nice the Tigers were to his wife, how gracious for putting her in the owner's box, etc, and how that NEVER would have happened with the Mariners, a cheap organization that never made him feel wanted or appreciated in any way.
I wish I could find the article from the first year after the trade...
But that's basically what he said.   He was extremely disparaging of the Ms.  Maybe time heals all wounds.  Maybe a player looking to hang on for a couple more years can't be choosy when the phone rings.
For the record, I'd be interested in Guillen in the Mac role - for cheap.  He can hit here,  He's a switch-hitter which is great for a benchie and we need some more right-handedness anyway so that a LHP doesn't demolish our lineup.
I just don't expect us to be on his list if there are other suitors.


I'd have thought the same, G, but his agent has been selling him to the M's, privately and publicly...
If we got the 2009-10 Guillen, that would be much preferable to a costly Cuddyer ... but, how do we know that 2011 wasn't the end for Carlos?


So a whopper of an offer is what, 75 mill?
If you have a barrel of cash, a hankering for impact players, and a 5-year limit in this market, can't imagine you pass on Yu Darvish ... check, check, and check-a-roni on the yellow pad...
Not at all farfetched for Darvish to pass on playing 2 miles away from the North Pole, however ... putting him on the FA market next year with a clear preference to pitch in Seattle with Ichiro and Kawasaki here...
For this reason, Toronto is my #2 choice, to keep alive the fantasy of Darvish sitting out a year :- ) and bringing that rested arm to Safeco...

zumbro's picture

for Guillen, absolutely. If only because there's at least an off chance of a karmic correction if we bring Carlos back. And wasn't someone just saying we need leaders in the clubhouse?
Hey, some of those guys could use having beer poured down their throats.

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