This past off-season, the Met fan base wanted some big things done. They wanted a superstar to come in and they wanted to see the club light up the transaction wire.
They wanted to be like the San Diego Padres or Chicago Cubs.
However, that’s not Sandy Alderson’s style.
The Mets’ general manager is a man of deliberate moves, who isn’t into the December headline like some of his predecessors or Brian Cashman across town. Heck Alderson is reluctant to sign free agents since it hamstrings the scouting department.
So it surprised everyone when the first major signing of the off-season came from the Mets when they inked Colorado outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a two year contract. Alderson had to surrender the No. 15 pick in the draft, while also spending some of that hard earned cash on a 36 year-old player, who only played 49 games last year.
“I signed here for a few reasons,” Cuddyer said. “First, there’s talent. This organization is showing that it’s close to a winning team. Secondly, it’s closer to home. Playing in Minnesota and Colorado, I wanted to be closer to home in Virginia.”
It also didn’t hurt that one of his best friends in baseball is Captain David Wright.
“It made the transition easier,” Cuddyer said. “To know and have a friend, especially with his stature with him in the organization and the city. To be able to have him to lean on was nice.”
Cuddyer gives the Mets a professional hitter in the lineup. Sure, it’s not Coors Field, but the Mets think that the outfielder can give the club another threat to go with Lucas Duda, Curtis Granderson, and Wright, while also having another mentor in the clubhouse for some of the younger hitters.
Cuddyer, much like Wright, is a gap type of hitter, who hit some home runs, but will hit for a decent average. Take the inflated Coors Field .331 that he hit the last two years, you still have a hitter that will in the .270-.280 range with some power.
Coming from Coors to Citi is an adjustment, but Cuddyer will be adjusting to the diffult factors that make Flushing so tough. But he has a good approach.
“The more you try to be an athlete, the better off you are and don’t try to delve too deep into things,” he said. “The more you dig. The more you are going to find. It’s better off to just play.”
The personable outfielder also thinks new hitting coach Kevin Long will be a help to the club as it looks to become a better offensive force.
“He’s just positive,” Cuddyer said. “He’s positive all the time. The mark of a good hitting coach is not trying to clone people. There are some things people like and some things people don’t like and he works with that accordingly.”
So that’s great and also the Mets don’t have to worry about Cuddyer having a problem in New York.
“I have three kids,” he laughed. “There’s not much nightlife for me.”
Sounds like a perfect fit.