With Josh Willingham in Minnesota, Michael Cuddyer has moved on to Colorado.
The Rockies have signed Cuddyer to a three-year, $31.5-million contract. That’s one year after the 32-year-old hit .284/.346/.459 in his eighth season as a Twins regular.
Although it’s not a perfect comparison, the Cuddyer deal — much like the Willingham deal — could help set the expectations for Nick Swisher a year from now.
Next winter, Swisher will turn 32 (same as Cuddyer is today). Swisher is a career .254/.360/.466 hitter, Cuddyer is a career .284/.346./459. They’re not perfect comparisons, but they’re at similar levels, with the same sort of power from a power-oriented position. Swisher’s a more patient hitter, Cuddyer a more versatile fielder.
For the time being, three-year deals for Cuddyer and Willingham — Willingham got $21 million — give some idea of what it would have cost to replace Swisher this winter had the Yankees not picked up his option.