Michael Cuddyer was the batting champ last year, but has played in only 31 games this season. He's set to become a free agent at the end of the year, so what does the future hold for the two-time all-star? Will he be back in Colorado next year? Should he?
In the 31 games he has played in he's hitting .317 with five home runs and 16 RBI. If Cuddy has proved anything during his time in purple, it's that he can hit. Even at the age of 36 going into next season, the average shouldn't diminish all that much because nobody will outwork the former Twin. He remains a consummate professional, great locker room guy and mentor to the younger players in the clubhouse.
Cuddyer is still on a rehab assignment after breezing through rookie ball. Barring any setbacks, he should be back at Coors Field before the end of the month. What will be interesting to see is if he will be back at Coors Field next season. Even with Carlos Gonzalez on the DL, the Rockies carry a full compliment of outfielders in Charlie Blackmon, Corey Dickerson, Drew Stubbs and Brandon Barnes, so it isn't really a position of need for the Rox.
The decision to possibly re-sign Michael Cuddyer will depend on two things. The first and most obvious thing is money. Last year, the $10 million he got paid was a bargain, but this year, that same amount seems like an overpay for a guy that has missed the majority of the season. Factoring in the health concerns and the age, the Rockies will want to bring him back on the cheap.
The other factor on bringing Cuddyer back is the direction the front office decides to take the team. If they think all the team needs is health and another pitcher or two, expect Cuddy back, along with all the other free agents like Brett Anderson and Jorge De La Rosa. But if they decide to blow things up by letting all the free agents walk and retooling through free agency and small trades, he obviously won't be back. If the blowing up of the team includes a blockbuster trade of Troy Tulowitzki and CarGo to the Mets — what should happen — they would bring Cuddy back to anchor the team and provide veteran leadership along with Justin Morneau.
So, really, the future of Michael Cuddyer relies on the future of the Rockies. Let's hope both are bright and, after this year, injury free.
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