Michael Cuddyer to retire from baseball
Michael Cuddyer signed a two-year, $21 million contract before the 2015 season, costing the Mets a first-round pick in the 2015 draft after receiving a qualifying offer from the Rockies following the 2014 season.
But after a rough first year in New York, in which he dealt with a bone bruise in his knee and was relegated to part-time duty in the second half, Cuddyer has surprisingly retired from baseball with one year remaining on his deal.
“While battling injuries this past season, he was one of our team’s true leaders in the clubhouse, playing a significant role in our National League Championship,” Mets GM Sandy Alderson said in a statement. “He leaves an indelible, positive impact on our organization.
“We salute Michael on his career and thank him for his contributions to our success in 2015. We wish him, Claudia and their kids all the health and happiness.”
Kristie Ackert of the Daily News says Cuddyer had recently asked people in the organization about future opportunities, suggesting retirement has been on the 36-year-old’s mind for quite some time.
Cuddyer will forfeit the $12.5 million owed to him in 2015, although its possible he will receive a buyout for the final year of his deal, Rubin tweets.
While this is speculation right now, such a buyout could be the result of an injury.
Cuddyer’s performance should not diminish the kind of person and presence he is, and what his value was to this organization while David Wright was rehabbing his back in Los Angeles for most of the season. He is a tremendous person with a down-to-earth personality, and it’s a shame he faded so quickly after some fabulous years with the Rockies.
He would indeed have tremendous value as an organizational resource or in a role with the big league club.
Now, even with a small buyout, this gives the Mets a lot more payroll flexibility this winter. What they do with that flexibility remains to be seen, but there should certainly be more room to add an upper echelon player in the outfield, and an ability to augment their bullpen even more than they originally envisioned.
Cuddyer hit .259/.309/.391 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI in 117 games with the Mets in 2015. He hit .277/.344/.461 with 333 doubles, 42 triples, 197 home runs and 794 RBI in 15 seasons with the Mets, Twins, and Rockies.
Cuddyer has penned a thoughtful piece for the Players Tribune, which can be read here.