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Mets expected to pursue Michael Cuddyer in free agency

Cuddyer enters the free agent market for just the second time in his career.

Doug Pensinger

The Mets are expected to pursue free agent Michael Cuddyer this offseason, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Martino notes that the Mets find Cuddyer "attractive on a two-year deal", but it remains unclear whether or not they would go to three years to add his bat.

If the Mets were to sign Cuddyer, he would presumably take the spot of Eric Young Jr., who is coming off a disappointing 2014 campaign when he hit .229/.299/.311. While Young provided speed and quality defense (3rd best defensive WAR among left field with at least 500 innings, according to Fangraphs), he brought little else to the Mets' anemic offense. Besides Young, the only other in-house options for the Mets are Matt den Dekker (.677 OPS in 53 games in 2014) and Kirk Nieuwenhuis (.828 OPS in 61 games in 2014).

Cuddyer spent the majority of his time with the Rockies in right field, so another option for the Mets would be to move current right fielder Curtis Granderson over to left. Cuddyer also has experience at first base, so he would give the Mets some different options.

Cuddyer made $10.5 million in each of his three years with the Rockies, and is expected to command a similar salary this offseason. However, it is unlikely that a team will give him another a three-year deal, considering Cuddyer will turn 36 in March. Cuddyer's versatility as a corner outfielder or first baseman will make him an interesting target for a few other teams, such as the Brewers, Marlins, Pirates, as well as many American League teams that view him as a DH candidate.

Cuddyer suffered from an injury plagued 2014 season, limiting him to just 49 games. In those 49 games, Cuddyer continued his assault on MLB pitching, posting a slash line of .332/.376/.579 with 10 home runs. For his career, Cuddyer has an .803 OPS, which dates all the way back to 2001 when he broke in with the Minnesota Twins.