Michael Cuddyer Should Be On Seattle Mariners’ List


The Seattle Mariners lacked serious offensive pop yet again this year. Signing Robinson Cano last season was a great move, but without proper protection around him, teams can take his bat out of the equation.

Enter Part 4 of my offseason plan for the Mariners.

With a decent amount of money having been tied up in the first three parts, the Mariners need to find a steady bat for a bargain price. While many suggest going after Victor Martinez (which I am NOT against but it doesn’t fit in this plan. It’s a viable Plan ‘B’) I think the Mariners should look long and hard at bringing Michael Cuddyer back to the American League and making him their full-time DH.

Cuddyer was injury-plagued in 2014, having only played in 49 games for Colorado. In those games, he batted .332 with 10 homers.

And before you start spouting off the “but he played half his games at Coors Field” argument, remember that Cuddyer spent 11 years in Minnesota where he averaged a slash line of .272/.343/.451 with a 162-game average of 21 homers and 86 RBI per year over his career.

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Cuddyer will turn 36 during Spring Training (V-Mart turns 36 this winter as well). If you compare their OPS+ over the past two seasons (113 and 168 for Martinez, 136 and 149 for Cuddyer) the numbers are fairly similar.

In fact, I am still a bit wary of Martinez’s numbers from 2014 and wonder how they will translate from here on out. Martinez is in line for a big contract because of the season he had, Cuddyer can be obtained cheaper.

Cuddyer can probably be signed to a two-year deal for around $10-$12 million per year (roughly 25-30% less than what Martinez is expected to get). Then, if all is well, he may have one two-year contract left in him before he retires.

Cuddyer could be used at times to fill in at first base as well. Martinez could as well, but both players have negative dWAR in their career so neither should be used in the field regularly.

So, final thoughts: In order to save money after making lucrative deals to extend Kyle Seager, sign Yasmany Tomas and Max Scherzer, I would try to lure Cuddyer to Seattle with a two-year, $24 million contract.

Giving the Mariners an Opening Day starting lineup of:

1- CF Austin Jackson
2- SS Chris Taylor
3- 2B Robinson Cano
4- DH Michael Cuddyer
5- 3B Kyle Seager
6- RF Yasmany Tomas
7- 1B Logan Morrison
8- C Mike Zunino
9- LF Dustin Ackley

In the final part of the series, we’ll put it all together and make one final tweak.