Michael Cuddyer will be playing for the Blake Street crew in 2012 to the tune of $31.5 million over three years. Thanks to the player push for Cuddyer to come, the Rockies clubhouse was able to sell him on accepting a deal with their front office.
This is a nice move on the part of the front office. The organization has, at least temporarily, recognized the farm system is not the key to winning the Commissioner’s Trophy. Deep are the pockets that wear the crown, yet the Rockies have convinced themselves since Fluke-tober 2007 that they can do it through small trades and developmental players.
I don’t think the services of Cuddyer is the final answer to the division title puzzle, but if he can pick up the slack of the lineup, he will help make the Rockies a more consistent team at the plate.
The primary option he presents is in the outfield, where the Rockies already have a solid corps of Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler and Seth Smith/Ryan Spilborghs. The platoon in right field has been targeted for realignment, as both Smith and Spilborghs could easily be plucked from the roster now that Cuddyer can/will be the newest jersey seller in the dugout.
Luckily, the Virginian has spent time in the infield at first through third, presenting even more options to manager Jim Tracy, if necessary. If Helton were to retire in the next two years, I could see Cuddyer playing first, if it was thought that Jordan Pacheco would not be ready. I would rather see a platoon rotation with Cuddyer and Pacheco, if Pacheco is not all ready tied up with catching.
It is a good move to pick up a dependable .284 career hitter, even though he will be 33 before spring training. Every dog can still have his day, and I want Cuddyer to have his day wearing purple pinstripes in Colorado.