The New York Mets hired former New York Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long on Thursday. He got credit for helping Curtis Granderson put together some of the best offensive seasons of his career while with the Yankees.
The Mets are undoubtedly hoping that hiring Long and bringing in the right and right-center field fences will help Granderson return to All-Star form. I don’t know that I’m buying it, but why not stay positive? (Oh, yeah… Long is the third hitting coach the Mets have employed in 2014. Sooner or later, somebody’s going to have to start blaming the players if they don’t hit.)
NJ.com’s Mike Vorkunov put together a list of six things you should know about Long for those who are curious about the Mets latest hitting coach.
The latest off-season rumor involves Michael Cuddyer, who Daily News baseball columnist Andy Martino opines would be a perfect fit for the Mets.
I’d be more inclined to say that Cuddyer is the best fit available on the free agent market. He will be 36 years old by Opening Day and has had over 500 plate appearances in just one of the past three seasons. Cuddyer’s outfield defense is significantly below average at this stage of his career, and his offensive numbers have been boosted by playing at Coors Field since 2012.
But on the positive side, Cuddyer’s home/road splits are more even than you’d expect. Going back to his last full season in 2013, Cuddyer hit .356 / .414 / .582 with 11 home runs at home, and .311 / .367 / .485 with nine home runs on the road.
He could play first base to spell Lucas Duda against left-handed pitching (though that would still leave the Mets in need of a right fielder for those games and their most likely in-house reserve outfielders are also left-handed hitters.)
Most importantly, Cuddyer shouldn’t require a mega-contract. MLB Trade Rumors is forecasting a two-year, $22 million deal for Cuddyer this winter. That’s definitely within the Mets’ predicted budget range, though they may need to deal Daniel Murphy and/or an established starting pitcher to make all of the numbers work.
I’m in favor of the Mets signing Michael Cuddyer this winter, but I hope that he spends more time on the field than on the disabled list over the length of the contract. What do you think?
5 thoughts on “Mets news & rumors: Kevin Long and Michael Cuddyer”
Cuddyer? No. A thousand times NO!
They already grossly overpaid for someone on his way down (Granderson). They spent $7 mil on a guy they got rid of before the end of the season. Cuddyer is on his way down, so $22 mil/2 yrs. is a waste of $22 mil for a short term something or another that will probably not be a fix.
Package Murphy and maybe a pitcher or two, on up to Niese, spend some money and get a couple players who are either on the way up or established stars who have leveled off. Think trying to acquire Hernandez and Carter types, not more George Fosters.
Cuddyer is not my first choice, but I think he’s a reasonable risk given the market. Teams are very reluctant to trade young players on the way up and only consider shedding stars when they need salary relief. The Mets could be one or two players away from winning enough games to have a chance at the wild card next year, and we’re watching what a well-timed hot streak can do once you get in the playoffs.
If the Mets could be one or two players away, as you say, Cuddyer isn’t one of them. It’s a shame, really, as his defense used to be one of his main selling points, plus he had a decent bat to go along with it. Could he help out? Yes. But he’d be patching up any shortcomings and not the solution. And $11/mil a year isn’t what I’d pay, if I were Mets’ GM, to a guy like him.
He missed about four months worth of playing time last year, which is bad news for a guy his age. And don’t be deceived by his suddenly hitting 50-60 points above his career. My guess is that, should the Mets sign him, he’s good for maybe 270.-280, tops, with maybe 15 HR, no matter where the Mets move the fences to (legally). Duda can do as good or better than that now. So, why spend $22 mil for essentially the same thing?
If the Mets sign Cuddyer, they’re essentially saying “quick fix”(if that) instead of “long term solution.” And 2015 will look a lot like this past season. The Mets have what appears to be an embarrassment of riches when it comes to pitching and, in my opinion, they’re going to have to deal a couple to get a top-drawer player or two.
.280 with 15 home runs is more than I expect from Matt den Dekker or Kirk Nieuwenhuis in 2015, and given the free agent market 2 years at $22 million isn’t that bad.
If there are better options on the trade market, but all means – pursue them. I just don’t know that one year of Daniel Murphy, and some combination of Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, Jon Niese and the second-level pitching prospects brings back somebody that’s significantly better than Cuddyer.
Den Dekker and Nieuwenhuis are both 27 and probably don’t have much of a major league future. Look, if they really haven’t panned out by now, I wouldn’t expect much down the road. But, the same thing holds for Cuddyer as he’s 36 and, freaky batting average over the last 180 games notwithstanding, he’s a guy into the decline phase of his career.
Yes, he’d be a better signing than Chris Young. But that’s not a glowing endorsement, by any means.
Just looking… The Mets got about 5 1/2 decent seasons out of Hernandez and only four out of Carter. On one hand, that’s not much. On the other, it doesn’t appear that the Mets, right now, a looking at much longer than two. They have to set their sights more into the future.
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