Shocker: The Mets sign Michael Cuddyer to a two-year deal

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We weren’t expecting this:

Jon Heyman reports that the deal is for $21 million.

The general consensus heading into the offseason was that the Mets were interested in Michael Cuddyer up until the point that the Rockies unexpectedly gave him a qualifying offer, which tied first-round pick compensation to him. That seemed like quite a price to pay for a guy who, while good when healthy, has not been healthy. And a guy whose recent offensive value has been pretty closely tied to Coors Field. With the Mets, publicly anyway, backing off of him, it was suspected by many that Cuddyer would be the first player to ever accept a qualifying offer.

Nope. Now the Mets have the corner outfielder they’ve been looking for. One who hit .307 with an .886 OPS in three seasons for the Rockies, but who also missed 206 of a possible 486 games, including playing just 49 games in 2014.

Our D.J. Short — a Mets fan — made a good point on Twitter just now:

Yep. You’ve already lost your draft pick, so don’t bother with half-measures. Go out and get yourself more talent. If you’re singing 36-year-olds, you expect to win now. So go try to win now.

There will be a pitch clock for spring training

Associated Press
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Major League Baseball just announced that there will be a pitch clock for spring training. It will be a 20-second pitch clock, phased in like so:

  • In the first Spring Training games, the 20-second timer will operate without enforcement so as to make players and umpires familiar with the new system;
  • Early next week, umpires will issue reminders to pitchers and hitters who violate the rule, but no ball-strike penalties will be assessed. Between innings, umpires are expected to inform the club’s field staff (manager, pitching coach or hitting coach) of any violations; and
  • Later in Spring Training, and depending on the status of the negotiations with the Major League Baseball Players Association, umpires will be instructed to begin assessing ball-strike penalties for violations.

As is the case in the minors, the batter will have to be in the batter’s box and alert to the pitcher with at least five seconds remaining on the timer; and the pitcher needs only to begin his windup before the 20-second timer expires, as opposed to having thrown the pitch. The timer will not be used on the first pitch of any at-bat. Rather, it begins running prior to the second pitch once the pitcher receives the ball from the catcher.

The league has not decided if the pitch clock will be used in the regular season yet. It can do so unilaterally, without union approval, for one year if it chooses to since it first introduced the idea last year.

There will likely be a lot of complaining about this, but as someone who has been to several minor league games with the clock in place, it’s pretty seamless and not noticeable. Minor leaguers had few if any complaints about its implementation.