Michael Cuddyer

Michael Cuddyer cares so much about the Twins that he’ll accept a trade

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Talking to CBSSports.com’s Scott Miller, Michael Cuddyer said he’d be OK with waiving his limited no-trade clause and accepting a deal out of Minnesota if it’d help the franchise.

As Cuddyer himself admitted, his no-trade clause really isn’t an obstacle in the first place.  It blocks trades to just three teams, and Cuddyer wasn’t even positive which teams they are.

“Can’t remember,” he told Miller. “I think Oakland is one. Toronto. And … I’m not sure.”

Cuddyer, who hopes to stay in Minnesota in 2012 and beyond, is in the final year of an extension he signed back in 2008.  That contract included $24 million guaranteed, but since the Twins picked up the 2011 option, the deal ended up being worth $33.5 million over four years.

After a very slow start — he didn’t drive in a single run until his 17th game of the season — Cuddyer is up to .282/.347/.449 for the year.  He has five homers in June and 10 overall.

Plus, while Cuddyer doesn’t have a lot of defensive value, his ability to step in and serve as a stopgap anywhere other than shortstop or catcher makes him a nice guy to have around.  He’s started 30 games in right, 17 games at first and 13 games at second this year.

The Braves, Mariners, Phillies, Reds and Diamondbacks are a few of the contenders that he might be able to help.

Must-Click Link: The Turbulent Final Year of Yordano Ventura’s Life

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 23:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals reacts in the sixth inning while taking on the Toronto Blue Jays in game six of the 2015 MLB American League Championship Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 23, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.

It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.

Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.

Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.

Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.