Despite losing his starting job during the middle of the year, Michael Cuddyer still has a positive outlook on the season. He says that winning is the most important factor of all, and he does not regret his decision to come to New York.
During the offseason, Cuddyer rejected a one year $15 million dollar qualifying offer from the Rockies in order to sign a 2 year $ 21 million dollar deal with the Mets.
“I know people roll their eyes when they hear this sometimes,” he says. “But winning is more important than money. And when I saw where this team was headed, seeing what was in the forecast, it reminded me of where we were in 2001 with Minnesota: a team building, not quite there yet, that was ready to move.” (Mike Vaccaro, NY Post)
“When it comes to winning, I think all of us feels the same way,” says Cuddyer, who is likely to see a good chunk of time against the Dodgers and their preponderance of lefty starters. “I don’t care how it happens or what has to happen for that to happen. We just want to win.”
Cuddyer battled through a knee injury for most of the summer, and was eventually placed on the DL in late July. While he returned to the lineup on August 11th, he only received limited playing time the rest of the way due to the acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes and the Mets’ improved outfield.
“Playing time is great,” he says. “I want to go out there and help the team as much as anything, but the root of it all is winning. And let me tell you: I went from winning six division titles in nine years with the Twins to playing four years in a row where I never lost less than 93. You get used to winning. And learn to appreciate it an awful lot when it stops happening.
It’s easy to see why the Mets thought so highly of Cuddyer during the offseason. He’s a professional and a great veteran to have on the field and in the clubhouse.
Unfortunately, Cuddyer’s production declined rapidly in 2015 and he has not played at a high level like the Mets hoped. In 117 games, he batted only .259 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI. His .699 OPS ties his career worst mark that was set in 2008.
Hopefully, Cuddyer will be able to come through in the clutch in the postseason and make the most of whatever opportunities he’s given.