By: Michael Ganci

Cuddyer’s Retirement Could be Major Turning Point

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Unless you live under a rock, you know that Michael Cuddyer has retired with one year remaining on his deal. He penned a letter announcing such on the Player’s Tribune, which you can access by clicking here.

Here’s a snippet:

I’ve made the decision to retire. With one year left on my contract, it is especially difficult to imagine not suiting up in a Mets uniform for one more year. As an athlete, retiring is the toughest decision you have to make and I don’t make it lightly. I’ve always run out every hit like it was my last. As an untested high school kid drafted with a dream, I’ve never taken a single moment in the Majors for granted. It goes against every grain in my body to consider a future without the game. But after 15 years, the toll on my body has finally caught up to me.

Assuming that all is well with Cuddyer other than a realization that his time has come to walk away, this is great news for the Mets. Last year, it was quite apparent that the once-solid Cuddyer’s best days were behind him, and the man the Mets signed to be their everyday left fielder was nothing more than a platoon player at best, and his salary was a burden, much like those of Jason Bay, Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo.

But unlike those aforementioned bums, Cuddyer did the rare thing. He walked away. He knew father time caught up to him, and rather than collect undeserved salary, he walked away. With what he’s made in his career, I’m sure he and his family are financially stable to say the least.

Cuddyer also got to live a lifelong dream by playing with his buddy David Wright. The former little league teammates played one season together, and despite Cuddyer’s disappointing showing, the World Series run will surely be something neither of them forgets sharing with one another.

Winning forces action, and the Mets have already made a couple of moves of note this off season, signing Asdrubal Cabrera and trading Jon Niese for Todd Walker. But with the bullpen and outfield (center field specifically) still being question marks, now the Mets have room to make an impact move.

Who does that leave as options? The first name to examine is Yoenis Cespedes. The superstar acquisition of the trade deadline manipulated his contract so the Mets could have just as good a chance as any to retain him, and now making him a competitive offer seems, not only smart, but realistic. Then there’s Justin Upton, but despite checking in last season, the Mets have never seemed truly enamored by him. I think they’ll check in, but he’ll go elsewhere.

Realistically, I think Denard Span, Dexter Fowler or Gerardo Parra could be the choices. If it’s Fowler, he can be offered the everyday job, making Juan Lagares the fourth outfielder. Span and Parra would likely enter platoon roles, especially with their ineptitude against left-handed pitching.

As for the bullpen, it’s a crap shoot. With guys like Tony Sipp and Steve Cishek off the board, the Mets may focus on retaining their own, such as Tyler Clippard and Jerry Blevins. Other guys will be given a shot, but you just never know what’s going to happen with relievers. They’re hard to predict.

It should be an interesting off season in Flushing, but no matter what happens, the future is looking bright for years to come, especially if Cespedes stays in Queens.

About Michael Ganci

Michael Ganci is the Co-Founder of the Daily Stache, along with Matthew Falkenbury. Since 2008, Ganci has eat, drank and dreamt all things Mets, and he'd have it no other way. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @DailyStache.

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