What was once a Minnesota Twins roster of White Sox killers is now dwindling down to just regular everyday guys. First Joe Nathan went to Texas and now outfielder Michael Cuddyer joins the already cluttered Colorado Rockies outfield. Cuddyer didn’t do too much with the Twins. He was like the Minnesota equivalent of Corey Hart with Ryan Braun (Joe Mauer) and Prince Fielder (Justin Morneau). Or the equivalent of when Jayson Werth was with Philadelphia, hitting behind Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Cuddyer and those guys were consistently good but they were overshadowed by better players.
Cuddyer played in 139 games for the Twins in 2011, posting a .284 batting average with 20 home runs, 70 runs batted in, and an on-base percentage of .346. He made appearances at first base, second base, right field, and designated hitter, with the most games coming in the outfield. Cuddyer will most likely be in a platoon situation in Colorado and may occasionally give veteran Todd Helton a day off at first base.
Michael’s contract is a three-year deal for $31.5 million.
Moving from the spacious Target Field to the hitter-friendly Coors Field will only help Cuddyer’s offensive production. Look for an extra handful of home runs out of the right-handed outfielder. In the batting order he may slot in the five or six spot depending on where he’s playing in the field and who’s pitching against the Rockies. This move also gives the Rockies another veteran leader for a clubhouse that is getting progressively younger. He won’t be exactly what they need – this signing isn’t going to push the Rockies over the edge – but it’ll be good enough for now.
Jason Kubel, another Sox killer, is still a free agent. He could re-up with the Twins or he could move on and see what he can do for another team. Unless for some reason he signs with the Sox I’d love to see him out of the division but if he came here he would make our outfield more interesting. Now all the Twins need to do is keep putting Mauer behind home plate so his knees give out and let Morneau retire and then maybe the Sox will have a shot. (In all seriousness, though, put Mauer at first. He’s too important to keep behind home. And put Morneau at DH – his concussion was way too serious to keep running him out to the field. You want his production but you want him to be healthy in his years beyond baseball even more than that.)