The best-hitting outfielder in baseball right now? Would you believe Michael Cuddyer?

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Pardon me for the incredibly nerdy way of making this point, but the ratio between Michael Cuddyer’s on-field production and the amount of press he’s received is way out of whack. Hardly anyone has talked about the guy, yet he rates as baseball’s fifth-best hitter overall, going by weighted on-base average (.424 wOBA). In fact, there isn’t a better hitting outfielder in baseball and the only ones who come close are teammate Carlos Gonzalez (.410) and Mike Trout (.399).

Cuddyer had three hits in four trips to the dish last night against the Mets, bumping his hitting streak up to 24 games. Dante Bichette had held the club record with a 23-game hitting streak. Cuddyer has also reached base in each of his last 43 games, breaking a record held previously by Todd Helton and Andres Galarraga at 41 games.

It may not be sustainable, but you can’t argue with his .351/.402/.597 slash line right now. The 34-year-old is deserving of his second career All-Star nomination.

Update: Cuddyer hit a two-run home run off of Giants starter Barry Zito in the third inning tonight, extending his hitting streak to 25 games and his on-base streak to 44 games.

Tampa Bay Rays trade Alex Colome, Denard Span to the Seattle Mariners

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The Tampa Bay Rays were reported this week to be “open for business” as far as trades go. Normally that means nothing happens until late June or something. The Rays are getting right down to it, though, as they’ve just traded closer Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span to the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners, who have played some outstanding ball lately thanks to some outstanding starting pitching, and are looking to bolster other areas as they make a push in the AL West, will likely slot Colome into a setup role in front of closer Edwin Diaz. Span will take over center field, allowing Dee Gordon to, eventually anyway, once he recovers from a fractured toe, cover for the suspended Robinson Cano at second base. If the M’s make the playoffs he’d likely do so in the postseason too, given that Cano will be ineligible for any October play due to his suspension.

Colome has saved 11 games for the Rays, with a 4.15 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 23/8 in 21.2 innings.Span is hitting .238/.364/.385 with four homers and six stolen bases on the season.

Two players are going back to the Rays: righties Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero. Moore was the Mariners’ second round pick in 2015 and made his big league debut last season, pitching 59 innings in 2018 but back in the minors so far in 2018. Romero was a 15th rounder for Seattle in 2017 and is currently plying his trade in A-ball.

The Rays, as expected, are using the 2018 season to acquire prospects. The Mariners, who are unexpectedly strong in the early going, are trying to go for it even harder. Quite a big trade for late May.