Michael Cuddyer
Michael Cuddyer
39-Year-Old OutfielderOF
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Michael Cuddyer in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Cuddyer signed a two-year, $21 million contract with the Mets in November of 2014.
Michael Cuddyer: Retiring from baseball
OFFree Agent  
Back
December 11, 2015
Cuddyer (back) is retiring from baseball, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports.
ANALYSIS
Rather than play out the final season of his two-year pact with New York and serve as more of a veteran bench presence than anything with Michael Conforto set to start in left field, Cuddyer has decided to step away after 14 major-league seasons. Cuddyer played 117 games for the Mets in 2015, but battled a variety of injuries en route to a .259/.309/.391 slash line. The 36-year-old won a batting title in 2013 as a member of the Rockies and made two All-Star teams.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Cuddyer was expected to notice a drop in production last season after riding a .382 BABIP to the NL batting title, but it was injuries rather than regression that sullied his 2014 campaign. Even after three separate DL trips due to a fractured shoulder and hamstring issues, Cuddyer posted a .332 average and most impressively, a career-best .579 SLG over 205 plate appearances, a confounding power spike for a player in his age-35 season. Despite an existing glut of cheaper outfield talent, the Rockies surprisingly extended Cuddyer a $15.3 million qualifying offer in the offseason. Even more astonishing was the Mets’ decision to then sign the aging outfielder to a two-year contract, surrendering a first-round draft pick in the process. The move away from Coors Field will safely deflate Cuddyer’s numbers, but it doesn’t dim his outlook entirely, as he was able to slash a respectable .286/.332/.463 on the road over the past three seasons. Health could again loom as the most significant obstacle for Cuddyer, who hasn’t suited up for more than 140 games in a season since 2010.
Nobody could have forecasted the incredible numbers Cuddyer posted in his age-34 season, as the outfielder improbably took home the NL batting crown with a .331 average while supplying 20 homers and 84 RBI. The counting numbers may have been even more remarkable if an assortment of injuries didn’t limit him to 130 games, but Cuddyer would probably do well to match those totals again even with optimal health. Almost everything about Cuddyer’s 2013 season was baffling, particularly his dramatic reverse splits (.350 vs. RHP, .276 vs. LHP) that deviate wildly from his career marks and raise just as many red flags as his .382 BABIP. In addition, his underlying peripheral marks (8.5 percent walk rate, 18.5 percent strikeout rate, .198 ISO) were otherwise mostly in line with his career marks, suggesting Cuddyer benefited from a good deal of luck in delivering his aberrant performance. Cuddyer should continue to occupy a premium spot in the order behind Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, but fantasy owners need to avoid paying for last year's numbers.
Aside from a troubling .317 on-base percentage, Cuddyer's numbers in his first season with the Rockies were par for the course with the rest of his career until recurring oblique issues cost him most of the second half, limiting him to 101 games. While he surely benefited from a move to hitter-friendly Coors Field compared to the spacious Target Field, Cuddyer actually displayed relatively even splits at home (.268, nine homers) and the road (.250, seven homers). The lack of a disparity is hardly insignificant, as Cuddyer could be traded for starting pitching with the Rockies holding a surplus of corner outfield/first base types on their roster. Even if he remains with the team, Cuddyer should have little difficulty claiming a starting spot and continuing to pick up where he left off, providing owners with a middling batting average, borderline above-average power and the occasional stolen base. Cuddyer will likely lose a little fantasy value in that he will no longer be eligible at second base in most leagues after failing to see time at the keystone last season.
Cuddyer improved most of his numbers last season and was the one constant in an injury-depleted Minnesota lineup, but the Twins decided not to re-sign him and he moved to Colorado where he'll likely be in the everyday lineup in right field. When several Twins went down with injuries early in the season, Cuddyer moved around the diamond and played 17 games at second base and 46 games at first base. Cuddyer bounced back from decreased power in 2010 and had 18 home runs and was hitting .295/.360/.485 before suffering a neck injury in early August. He played through the neck injury and a wrist injury and hit just .241/.287/.361 with two home runs over his final 27 games. Cuddyer should benefit from the move from spacious Target Field to a hitter's park in Colorado, but he did hit an equal number of home runs at home and the road the past two seasons. While Cuddyer doesn't have a great on-base percentage, he does draw a decent amount of walks and showed good power when healthy. He also picks his spots on the bases, with five or more stolen bases the past four seasons, though he's unlikely to repeat last year's 11 steals. He'll have added value in leagues where he qualifies at second base.
While the once injury-prone Cuddyer played the most games of his career last season, he took a big step back at the plate. Cuddyer began the season as Minnesota's starting right fielder, but moved around the infield when the Twins wanted to give at-bats to both Jim Thome and Delmon Young. He played a game at second base and then looked set to take over as the starting third baseman (where he hadn't played since 2005 and where he struggled in the field previously) before moving to first base when Justin Morneau suffered a season-ending concussion. At the plate, Cuddyer saw a drop in power from 32 home runs to 14 last season along with the lowest slugging percentage of his career when he played more than 100 games. His drop in home runs wasn't due to spacious Target Field as he hit an equal amount of homers on the road. Still, there's reason to think he'll rebound since he still draws walks at good clip and had the lowest rate of home runs compared to flyballs of his healthy seasons (8.8 percent), which could indicate some bad luck. He'll enter 2011 as Minnesota's starting right fielder. His value is boosted in leagues where he qualifies at third base (14 games played at third base last season).
Cuddyer bounced back from an injury-plagued 2008 season to post one of the best years of his career. Cuddyer hit a career-high 32 home runs and thrived during the pennant race by hitting 10 home runs with a .920 OPS in September. Cuddyer always had good power in the minors along with favorable plate discipline, so there's good reason to think he can maintain an early-30s power spike. He'll start in right field for the Twins and will also qualify at first base in most leagues, as he took over the position last summer after Justin Morneau's season ended with a back injury.
Last year was a lost season for Cuddyer amid injuries to both hands and a broken foot that has put his status as an everyday player in jeopardy for 2009. Cuddyer missed three weeks after dislocating his right index finger while sliding in early April, had his left index finger broken by a pitch in June and then broke his left foot from a line drive while rehabbing in September. He was able to return the final two weeks of the season, but Denard Span established himself as an everyday player in his absence. The Twins now have five players for four spots between the outfield and DH, which has raised speculation that Cuddyer could be moved back to third base or could be traded. However, the Twins signed him to a three-year, $23 million contract extension before last season and insist he's better off playing in the outfield after his struggles playing the infield carried over to his at-bats earlier in his career. Plus, Cuddyer is one of Minnesota's few home run sources as he has had decent power in the past, with a good eye at the plate. He's a buy-low candidate, because all his injuries were not chronic problems, he'll be just 30 years old and he hasn't seen a major drop off in his skill set.
Cuddyer failed to build upon his 2006 breakout season and took a step back last year with just 16 home runs. His overall power was down as he also hit 13 fewer doubles despite being relatively healthy (one trip to the DL) after injuries plagued him his first few years in the majors. He still has a good eye at the plate and had strong minor league power numbers, so there's reason for optimism that he'll hit more home runs. He'll be the starter in right field again as the Twins have said they don't want to move him back to the infield since his struggles in the field were believed to have affected him at the plate earlier in his career.
Cuddyer finally capitalized on his minor league promise in 2006 with a breakout season that has established him as Minnesota's starting right fielder. He had been in and out of Minnesota's lineup the last three seasons due to frequent injuries and an inability to field a position. After struggling at third base in 2005, the Twins decided to put him in right field so he could focus on producing at the plate. Cuddyer always showed good power in the minors, so there's every reason to think he can repeat his breakout performance if he stays healthy. The only negative is that he won't qualify at any infield positions any longer.
Cuddyer opened last season as the starting third baseman but struggled in the field and never took off at the plate. He later struggled with wrist and knee injuries, which kept him from regaining his regular job. Cuddyer still has decent power, but at age 27 he may not be able to fully capitalize on his minor league promise. He could emerge with a starting job at 3B, RF or DH again this spring, but may ultimately serve as a utility player. He's also coming back from knee surgery, so make sure he's back to full strength this spring.
Cuddyer finally found consistent playing time in the major leagues last season and enters 2004 as the favorite to win a starting job at either second or third base with the Twins. After being touted as a Rookie of the Year candidate in 2002, Cuddyer struggled in his first regular major league playing time that season and then missed most of 2003 with injuries. Finally healthy in 2004, he switched to second base and took over the position in the second half. The job security did wonders for his mental approach at the plate as he hit .287/.378/.487 in the final three months. The Twins saw enough to commit to him as an everyday player in 2005 and spring competition in the infield will determine where he plays. Since he'll qualify at second base, he'll be a valuable fantasy player there with solid power and a good eye at the plate. He could hit 20+ HRs in a starting role with a decent batting average.
Cuddyer enters the 2004 season as the leading candidate for the right field job if Jacque Jones is traded even though he wasn't able to capitalize on a similar situation last season. Cuddyer got off to a slow start and was sent to the minors, where he languished with several hamstring injuries. Once back in the majors late in the season he regained the confidence of the coaching staff and even started a playoff game. He was a Rookie of the Year candidate last season and could hit 30 home runs with enough playing time - so don't give up on him yet. He could also get time at both corner positions and was even learning to play second base in the minors. As a result, his name may come up if Luis Rivas struggles.
Cuddyer was the top prospect in the Twins system who tore the cover off the ball again in Triple-A (20 HR/.594 SLG) before a late call up. He's viewed as the leading candidate to win the RF job, but he struggled with his defense in the field in the playoffs. Has the upside of 30-plus HRs if he wins an everyday job. A former shortstop, he also gets some playing time on the corner spots.
More Fantasy News
OFNew York Mets  
Back
November 6, 2015
Cuddyer underwent surgery for a core muscle injury Thursday, Mike Vorkunov of NJ.com reports.
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OFNew York Mets  
October 12, 2015
Cuddyer is not in the lineup for Game 3 of the NLDS on Monday against the Dodgers, Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal reports.
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OFNew York Mets  
October 10, 2015
Cuddyer is not in the lineup for Game 2 of the NLDS on Saturday against the Dodgers, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.
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OFNew York Mets  
October 4, 2015
Cuddyer is out of the lineup Sunday against the Nationals, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports.
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OFNew York Mets  
September 14, 2015
Cuddyer (wrist) is back in the lineup Monday against the Marlins.
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