Not much news coming from the Twins these days other than the official notice of all the free agents. The Twins have four this year – Capps, Cuddyer, Kubel and Nathan. I’ve discussed all but Cuddyer in previous posts so it is time to make a few comments about him.
The Twin Cities media all seem to like him. I suspect that is at least in part due to his willingness to speak to the media on a regular basis and when he does, he is generally reasonably articulate and entertaining. I wonder how much that has influenced the many stories about Cuddyer and how much the Twins would like to re-sign him. Are the sports writers engaging in wishful thinking or do they have inside information? Is there a bit of panic about who they can count on to step up and be the sound bite guy if Cuddyer is gone?
To Twins fans who follow the game closely, it is fairly obvious that Gardenhire likes and respects Cuddyer. That alone may lead to a reasonable assumption that the Twins will make a good effort to re-sign him. He also is valuable off the field in his community connections. This coming year that may be even more important as the Twins try to rehab their image after the 2011 disaster of a season. The real question is how much they are willing to pay.
Bloggers have been somewhat mixed in their assessments both of Cuddyer’s value based on his age and past production, and the likelihood of his going elsewhere.
I am ambivalent. On the field he is not anything special and it is almost certain that his production will decline with each year of continued play. Clubhouse leadership is important, though, and from all reports he is a key person for the team. I’d be surprised if the Twins do not improve on the original offer at some point, but I’m fairly certain that they will wait until they and Cuddyer can gauge the interest by other parties. Neither party will be in a hurry and that probably means it will be at or after the winter meetings before we hear much more.
Will the best source of information be Cuddyer himself via Twitter? (@mcuddy5)