I'll start this in a similar manner that Buster Olney of ESPN started his tweets, this is speculation at this point only. The New York Yankees and the Colorado Rockies have not engaged in any talks regarding a potential trade involving Michael Cuddyer, but he is certainly an option. With Mark Teixeira's injury, the Yankees have been combing free agent lists and possible trade candidates. One place they might look is Colorado.
Here's what Olney had to say about the possibility:
SPECULATION: You wonder if there is a deal to be made for the Rockies-Yankees in which COL eats a lot of Michael Cuddyer $ to move him.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 8, 2013
Coming off a season in which Cuddyer had .317 OBP, teams probably would want COL to absorb a lot of the $21m he's owed for '13-'14.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 8, 2013
Cuddyer is a RHed hitter, which the NYY need, and has versatility to play 1B-OF-DH; wouldn't cost them any major prospects. SPECULATION— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 8, 2013
The problem, as Olney addresses, is Cuddyer's contract. The Rockies have been dumping payroll over the last year or two, so would they eat some of Cuddyer's to help ease their way fully into their youth movement? It would be a big step, but the Rockies' have been trying to cut payroll.
In the long run, taking a hit on Cuddyer may free up salary space, but in the short term, it will hurt.
Cuddyer has the versatility to play the outfield (Curtis Granderson replacement too maybe?) and both corner infield positions. He is a veteran hitter, and he could help the Yankees stay afloat while they wait for their All-Stars to return. However, they would have to give up something nice to get Colorado to eat salary and lose Cuddyer. They'd have to give up something they simply don't want to give up. And that's young talent.
They shift in the way the Yankees are building is evident lately. They are trying to rebuild their farm system, and they are far more hesitant when the prospect of trading one of their young players arises. Because of their sudden unwillingness to unload prospects in order to win now, the Yankees may not have any real trade partners when it comes to the Teixeira or Granderson injuries.
Cuddyer would be a nice fit, though. He hit .260/.317/.489 last year with Colorado. In his career, he is a .271/.341/.454 hitter. Cuddyer is only two years removed from his 2011 All-Star season with the Twins in which he clubbed 20 home runs. Cuddyer has power, and he could exploit that in New York.
But can such a deal actually happen?