Monday, July 4, 2011

Trade Target/Obsession - Michael Cuddyer

Recently I laid out why the Pirates should be looking for a trade in order to improve the Pirates for 2011. One of the players that I have had my eye on in recent weeks is Michael Cuddyer from the Minnesota Twins.

Here's the lowdown on the sitch with Cuddyer and the Twins:
The Twins are currently 36-46 and in 4th place in the AL Central. Even though they got hot for a little bit in June, they are still 10 games UNDER .500. You can't be considered a contender until you are at least .500.

If they win 10 games in a row, that would put them at .500 approximately at July 18th. At that point, keeping in mind this is a perfect scenario, they would still only be .500 and probably 3-4 games out of first place with 2 weeks before the deadline.

Cuddyer is a free agent at the end of the year and makes $10.5M this season. By July 31st, he will be owed approximately $4M.

The Twins had their highest payroll ever in 2011 at $113M. Their season has been submarined by injuries to Mauer and Morneau, plus Nathan's ineffectiveness. Their offense has been wretched for most of the year.

The Twins have both Matt Capps and Joe Nathan up as free agents after this year. Capps ($7.15M) and Nathan ($11.25M) are not living up to their contracts. The rest of their bullpen is awful, as well.

The Twins have a very bland farm system, with no "wow" players on the 2012 horizon. Kyle Gibson is good, but not a future superstar.

All that said....
The Twins can save $4M and pick up 2 prospects that can help them in 2012. I would think a Diego Moreno/Alex Presley package would work for them. If the Pirates pick up all $4M, I would say only trading 1 of them would be fair.

If the Twins and Cuddyer want to get together for 2012 at a reduced rate, so be it. They would save $4M in 2011, pick up a prospect, and get him back for 2012. Maybe things go really well and the Pirates re-up him for 1-2 years, too.

Either way, Cuddyer gives the Pirates a much needed power threat and true RH'ed bat in the lineup against lefties.

It all makes perfect sense. To me at least.

1 comment:

  1. Would much rather have them pursue Cuddyer over a Connor Jackson, certainly.

    If all it would take would be Diego friggin' Moreno then that deal needs to be made tomorrow. If he walks at year's end, he walks.

    He's certainly capable of some scorching hot streaks. He's in the middle of one now, as a matter of fact. If he were being trotted out there for the Pirates over the past couple weeks they'd probably have 2 or 3 more wins.

    Other side of that coin is that the longer he stays hot, the less likely a Diego Moreno will be able to land him, but again....if that's all it takes they need to do it NOW.

    I fear the Twins still think they can pull a rabbit out of their ass(they won't) and are going to hang on to him unless they just get blown away. In my mind, Cuddyer's not the kind of player to make that kind of an offer for. Moreno/Presley? I could probably be convinced of it if I truly felt the Pirates pitching was going to maintain the status quo. Even just a little more offense could take this division this year. Add Cuddyer and a healthy/productive Pedro, get a bit more offense from C perhaps with Doumit, while removing the black hole that is Overbay? You just never know...

    My only real concern with Mike is that his career splits for OPS and SLG are the epitome of "meh" on the road. The old "Homer Dome" was berry, berry good to him. (And yes, I understand Target Field isn't the Metrodome and he's done okay there. Just pointing it out.)