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Trade Cuddyer? The Rockies love him (despite his stats and their record)

Posted by: Howard Sinker Updated: July 10, 2012 - 1:42 PM

As bad as things have been with the Twins this season, they,ve been even worse with Michael Cuddyer's new team.

You'll remember that Cuddyer signed a three-year, $31.5 million contract with the Colorado Rockies over the winter to supply leadership, stability and offense.

The Rockies are one of four teams in the National League -- along with Houston, San Diego and the Cubs -- that are within a game of having the worst record in the majors.

For his part, after a strong start, Cuddyer's numbers have slipped to .269 (average)/.316 (on-base percentage)/.795 (on base-plus-slugging). He has batted .238 since June 1 and is on pace for a career high in strikeouts and his worst offensive numbers in many categories since 2006 (with the exception of his injury-impaired 2008 season).

To compare, Twins economy signing Ryan Doumit's numbers are .286/.343/.796 -- for $7.5 million less this season and $21.5 million less through 2014 -- and Cuddyer's home run and slugging numbers pale compared to his Twins replacement, Josh Willingham, and slugger-in-development Ryan Doumit.

The web site Through The Fence Baseball is suggesting that outfielders Tyler Colvin and Cuddyer would be fine trade bait to bring the Rockies some of the starting pitching they need. But, in Cuddyer's case, the contract he signed can be seen as anchoring him to Colorado.

TTF's Cory Whitmer writes: "The only thing holding back teams from wanting the services of the Cuddyman (.264 AVG with 12 homers and 50 RBIs) is his $31.5 million/three-year deal."

One Rockies fan blogger on Yahoo! Sports, despite contending that Cuddyer is her favorite player, suggest that he should become a part-time player for now at first base. Julie Hayes wrote: "Cuddyer is my favorite player on the team because of his hustle and general attitude. However, the blazing start that he had to the season has fizzled out as the rigors of playing in Denver have settled in for the 33-year-old. He batted an excellent .299 in April. By the end of May his average had dropped to .282 and at the end of June it had fallen to .257. Whether this is simply a slump or Cuddyer physically wearing down remains to be seen."

$10.5 million per year for a part-time player?

Uh-huh.

Meanwhile, Cuddyer's hometown paper from Virginia checked in a couple of days back and reported that Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said that Cuddyer is "unlikely to be dealt in a trading-deadline fire sale."

And his Rockies teammates like Cuddyer. Really, really like him.

Todd Helton likes him so much that he said: "If he didn't get another hit the rest of the year, he would be the best free-agent signing the Rockies have ever had."

Uh-huh, again.

You can read what they else they said -- the Virginian-Pilot's Tom Robinson calls it "Saintly praise" --  here.

 

 

 

 

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