Was the Cuddyer signing worth it? Twitter speaks

Ask a question on Twitter and you never know what kind of response you’re going to get. On Monday, after it was announced that the Mets had signed Michael Cuddyer to a two-year deal, thus forfeiting their first-round pick (No. 15 overall — story on new Draft order is here), I posed a simple question as an informal survey:

 

Simple enough, right? I wasn’t sure how many, if any, of you would answer. Well, more than 70 of you did. Which is great, because I hadn’t blogged in a while and this gave me something cool to write about.

A majority — 52.8 percent, to be exact — answered in the negative, that the Mets either shouldn’t have signed Cuddyer, shouldn’t have given up the 15th overall pick for him, or both. Many were simple “No” or “No way” answers. Some were more along the lines of this one, which kind of says — maybe for some teams, but not the Mets:

A quarter of people who responded (25% on the nose) thought it was a worthwhile move.  Again, some gave a simple Twitter version of a nod of assent. Some people elaborated. There were those who thought Cuddyer was the right man for the job:

Some felt the Mets had to do SOMETHING to show they’re trying to contend:

Some felt giving up the No. 15 pick wasn’t something to worry about, like this response to someone who had voted “No.” (More on this in a bit):

The remaining people (22.2%) gave some variation of “It depends.” It depends on what Cuddyer does. It depends on if you think the Mets are close to contending. Mostly, it was a lot of, “It depends if the Mets are done.” If this is just the first salvo in an offseason flurry of moves, then it’s worth it. The point has been made that if the Mets go after another free agent with a qualifying offer — Troy Tulowitzki, for the sake of this discussion — then they’d be getting that higher-profile free agent for just a second-round pick, thus making the Cuddyer signing make more sense.

I must admit, I tend to be a bit Draft-skewed, based on what I do. So my initial reaction was that giving up a top 15 pick for Cuddyer didn’t make a whole lot of sense, especially for an organization that had been re-committing itself to re-building a once-moribund farm system. They’ve come a long way and another first rounder certainly wouldn’t hurt. I’m willing to wait and see what else the Mets do before passing judgment, and I understand the pull in New York to compete. But I would be remiss if I didn’t respond to those out there in the Twitterverse who echoed the “who cares about the No. 15 pick” sentiment above.

First, a list of other former No. 15 picks:

Devin Mesoraco
Stephen Drew
Scott Kazmir
Chase Utley
Chris Carpenter

That’s just a sampling, but four of the five have been All-Stars. Countless others have been productive big leaguers. And I’m not even going to get into players after No. 15 (I mentioned the obvious choice in Mike Trout in response on Twitter), not to mention players taken past the top five or six, the threshold thrown out there in the tweet above.

I’m curious to see how this all plays out: How much Cuddyer can help the Mets, how his signing fits into a larger plan for the team and, of course, who the Braves take at No. 15 next June. That is, of course, unless they sign their own qualifying free agent.

3 Comments

It was either sign Cuddyer to short term deal and lost the 15th pick, or trade for corner outfielder with a year or two left on contract and lose some prospects already in the system. Losing the 15th pick makes better sense considering the free agent corner outfield pool doesn’t fit the current plan in dollars, years, or needs while Mets wait for their homegrown outfielders to reach the majors.

Cuddyer is mixed bag of benefits and red flags. One thing for sure he’s a proven, professional hitter and fabulous leader. I worry about his lack of speed on defense and bases more than health and age. Iff he plays 120 games and doesn’t cost us games through poor defense, I believe this will prove to be pivotal signing adding a fine bat to a needy lineup and a great mentor and stand up human being to a developing team. This move must be the first of at least several this offseason for it pay dividends for a team striving for the postseason now.

In terms of losing the 15th pick, I can just as readily select other 15th picks who never did much of anything in the majors. We know that year after year, plenty first rounders never even reach the majors let alone excel.

But keep up the good work Jonathon, I value your knowledge and opinions, as well as professionalism and fair analysis on and off camera.

It was either sign Cuddyer to short term deal and lose the 15th pick, or trade for corner outfielder with a year or two left on contract and lose some prospects already in the system. Losing the 15th pick makes better sense considering the free agent corner outfield pool doesn’t fit the current plan in dollars, years, or needs while Mets wait for their homegrown outfielders to reach the majors.

Cuddyer is mixed bag of benefits and red flags. One thing for sure he’s a proven, professional hitter and fabulous leader. I worry about his lack of speed on defense and bases more than health and age but if he plays 120 games and doesn’t cost us games through poor defense, I believe this will prove to be pivotal signing adding a fine bat to a needy lineup and a great mentor and stand up human being to a developing team. This move must be the first of at least several this offseason for it pay dividends for a team striving for the postseason now.

In terms of losing the 15th pick, I can just readily select other 15th picks who never did much of anything in the majors. We know that year after year, plenty first rounders never even reach the majors let alone excel.

But keep up the good work Jonathon, I value your knowledge and opinions, as well as professionalism and fair analysis on and off camera.

I think the pickup depends entirely on the outlook of the team and where they think they’re at compared to the rest of the division. Obviously sacrificing the 15th pick means that they think they need a slight nudge to make a legit playoff run and I agree.

With Harvey coming back, Wheeler with another year under his belt, DeGrom coming off ROY, Syndergaard on the horizon, and Dillon Gee/Niese anchoring the back-end, their rotation has awesome depth.

If Dwright can rebound from his injuries, Duda can replicate something close to what he did last year, and d’Arnaud can continue making strides this year (.787 OPS in 2nd half), their offense just needs a slight boost to make some noise.

Enter Cuddyer and you have that boost.

It’s going to be really hard to catch the Nationals, but if their rotation can realize its potential and their offense picks it up a notch, you’re looking at a very dangerous team poised for a Wild Card run.

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