Results tagged ‘ Michael Cuddyer ’

Madson, Cuddyer Talks

Ruben Amaro Jr. said he planned to be aggressive this offseason.

He is showing it.

MLB.com’s Jim Duquette reported tonight the Phillies are working on a four-year, $44 million contract with closer Ryan Madson, although there is no indication a deal is near. Sources said Monday talks between the Phillies and Madson had picked up.

The Phillies also have been interested in closer Jonathan Papelbon. They could continue to push forward with Papelbon, putting them in position to choose between Madson or Papelbon based on who can come to an agreement first.

Free agent Michael Cuddyer was in Philadelphia today for a meet-and-greet with Phillies officials, a source said. Cuddyer, who spends his offseasons in Virginia, was back at the airport this evening. Cuddyer’s presence in town doesn’t mean a deal will or will not happen, but it’s clear the Phillies have targeted him.

The Phillies have made resigning Madson and Jimmy Rollins their top two offseason priorities. Locking up Madson would solidify a bullpen that only has one veteran arm: Jose Contreras, who is recovering from elbow surgery. The Phillies like Cuddyer because he is a high-character guy and a right-handed bat that plays the corner infield and outfield positions. He could play first base with Jim Thome (although it’s unclear how much first base Thome could play) while Ryan Howard recovers from left Achilles surgery, and move to left field after that.

Thome’s First Job: Recruiter

It sure sounds like Jim Thome would love Michael Cuddyer to sign with the Phillies, huh?

Thome signed a one-year, $1.25 million contract with the Phillies yesterday, and he was asked if he had spoken with his good friend Cuddyer, whom the Phillies are pursuing in free agency.

“We’ve texted a little bit,” Thome said. “We’ve talked. All I can say about Michael is he’s a great player. He’s a winner. He’s a stand-up guy. I know he’s done a lot of great things on and off the field in Minnesota. Anybody that plays in that organization for a long time, their credibility is instantly high. Any team that gets him is going to gain. He’s a great teammate. I would put Michael as one of my top-five, all-time favorite teammates. No question. He’s up there. He’s a winner.”

Did Cuddyer express any interest in coming to Philly?

“I can’t answer that,” Thome said. “Look, every player that
sees the way the Phillies have done things over the last seven or eight years, they’ve set the bar very, very high. Guys around baseball would love to come here. When you win, you create a lot of good things.”

Did Thome encourage his former teammate to join him?

“I could, yes,” he said. “Absolutely. I’m sure we will talk
going forward.”

You can be certain Thome will be talking to Cuddyer, Charlie Manuel and anybody else who will listen (I’m sure Thome can shoot Ruben Amaro Jr. a few texts). Cuddyer makes sense for a few reasons. He is a right-handed bat that can play the corner infield and outfield positions, although my understanding is he isn’t much of a defensive third baseman. He has a career .343 on-base percentage. His .346 on-base percentage this season would have tied for fourth on the team with Ryan Howard. And one would think his offensive numbers would improve moving from pitcher-friendly Target Field to hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park. He also is a high-character, high-energy guy, which the Phillies value.

Of course, Thome can talk until he is blue in the face. If the money isn’t right it won’t happen. But if the money is close maybe Thome can push Cuddyer toward Philly.

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