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?