Veteran outfielder Michael Cuddyer is hanging up his mitt after 15 years.
I've made the decision to retire. With one year left on my contract, it is especially difficult to imagine not suiting up in a Mets uniform for one more year. As an athlete, retiring is the toughest decision you have to make and I don't make it lightly. I've always run out every hit like it was my last. As an untested high school kid drafted with a dream, I've never taken a single moment in the Majors for granted. It goes against every grain in my body to consider a future without the game. But after 15 years, the toll on my body has finally caught up to me.
Cuddyer—coming off the worst season of his career—played 75 games in the outfield and 18 at first base, and he was on the outside looking in on a New York Mets outfield that includes Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto, with Lucas Duda firmly planted at first.
But despite a tempered 2015, he left his mark in unique company for one of the most challenging feats, per Ace of MLB Stats:
Cuddyer spent the first 11 years of his major league career with the Minnesota Twins before joining the Colorado Rockies for three years. Last season, he signed with the Mets, where he was part of his first career pennant win.
The 36-year-old veteran rejected a $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Rockies last winter in favor of a two-year, $21 million deal with the Mets, with $12.5 million owed in 2016, per Spotrac. Rubin added more context on how Cuddyer's contract will be sorted:
The Mets gave up their first-round pick this year, No. 15 overall, to sign Cuddyer in hopes of making a pennant run. Though those goals were accomplished, the Mets must wonder if it was worth it to do so.
But by ridding themselves of Cuddyer's contract, the Mets free up cap space to make a run at replacing remaining voids in their lineup, as second baseman Daniel Murphy and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes—both pivotal in their pennant run—remain on the free-agent market.