Detroit Tigers Rumors: 5 Possible Free-Agent Targets In 2015

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Sep 12, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Xavier Scruggs (59) picks a ball to force out Colorado Rockies right fielder Michael Cuddyer (3) during the eighth inning at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Cuddyer

Could Michael Cuddyer join Joe Nathan as the next former Minnesota Twin to make the jump over to the motor city?

Dave Dombrowski might tell you yes.

Cuddyer, 35, is still one of the best hitters on the 2015 free agent market, despite only playing 49 games in 2014. Similar to the Tigers’ Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter, Cuddyer has gotten better with age; posting his two best seasons of his career at the plate over the last two years.

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  • He was drafted by the Twins ninth overall in 1997 and has played mostly played right field. He is also a two-time all-star and won the NL batting title in 2013, hitting .331. If the Tigers are unable to resign Martinez, Cuddyer is as good option to replace him.

    Among major league batters with a minimum of 200 plate appearances, Cuddyer was 15th in wRC+, one spot behind J.D. Martinez and two spots ahead of Miguel Cabrera, so we know the guy can hit.

    Furthermore, he won’t be that expensive to obtain. The injury that held him out of action for more than half of the 2014 season will deflate his market somewhat, and he won’t be subject to draft pick compensation. predicts a 2-year, $22 million contract, significantly cheaper than some other DH options project to be.

    Although Cuddyer would likely only be signed if Victor Martinez walks and the DH spot is open, he can play all over the diamond and could essentially be a backup corner outfielder, first baseman, and emergency second or third baseman.

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