All along the thinking has been that Michael Cuddyer wants to a) stay with the Twins and b) land a three-year deal. According to Jon Heyman, the Twins have done their part, offering the right-handed-hitting outfielder a cool $25 million through 2014. Cuddyer, though, has yet to accept.
With Cuddyer’s return in limbo, the Twins are talking to their backup option, Josh Willingham. Willingham offers a better bet, but he’s not so versatile and he comes with durability concerns. Willingham, likewise, wants a three-year deal, and while he’s a better bet than Cuddyer to be productive in 2014, his history of back problems would make him a risky signing for three years.
One would think Cuddyer will end up accepting the Twins’ offer if $25 million is really where there at. His preference for Minnesota has never seemed like an act, and it’s not as though his market is all that strong. The Phillies pursued him at first, but they’ve backed off, and while a lot of people have tried to propose the Red Sox as a match, it’s doubtful Boston would give him that kind of contract.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.