Monday, November 10, 2014

Michael Cuddyer Signs with the Mets. Now How Might He Contribute Offensively?

The New York Mets announced this afternoon on Twitter that they have "signed outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a two-year contract." While I'm not totally sure what financial ramifications this deal and its reported worth will bring ('s Adam Rubin cites a "source" as saying the contract is for $21 million), I would like to discuss the signing from the standpoint of batting stats.

I think Cuddyer's hitting ability is a good fit for the Mets because his 2015 Steamer projections in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and wRC+ are better than the 2015 Steamer projections for each of the other Mets outfielders in those same statistical areas. He also has a good deal of experience at first base and would in fact be the perfect platoon partner for incumbent first baseman Lucas Duda.  Cuddyer has put up a career 132 wRC+ against lefty pitchers (compared to Duda's 75) and Duda has a career 138 wRC+ versus righty pitchers (compared to Cuddyer's 105).  Rubin writes that it is "conceivable" for the New York franchise to also use Cuddyer at first "if Duda continues to struggle against left-handed pitching."

There's at least one obvious knock against Cuddyer: The slugger will be 36 in late March.  But perhaps it's not unreasonable to expect him to be at least average when it comes to, say, getting on base.  His lowest single-season on-base percentage during his three seasons as a Rockie (ages 33, 34, and 35) was .317, just five points below his current Steamer projection for 2015.  

So while I'll admit I'm not exactly certain about the value of Cuddyer's reported contract, I do think the outfielder is a good fit for the Mets offensively.  He's projected for good numbers compared to the rest of the team's outfielders, would fit in as a perfect platoon partner for Duda at first should the Mets choose to use him that way, and could potentially perform well with the bat despite his age.  According to the offensive stats currently posted online, I think the Mets made a good choice in signing Cuddyer.

**Note: All statistics and information used in this post came from, except where noted otherwise.  Steamer projections are listed on the fangraphs site.

No comments:

Post a Comment