MLB rumor-mongers unite: The St. Louis Cardinals have $21 million more than you expected to spend this winter, and Hot Stove Leaguers plan on spending all of it. One ostensibly perfect fit: The Minnesota Twins' Michael Cuddyer, an above-average bat who is famous for standing in right field, third base, and even second base while being above-average. The Cardinals have an injured and unproven Allen Craig in right field, the perpetually injured David Freese at third base, and the perpetually unproven and left-handed Daniel Descalso at second base—voila! Another productive year as super-sub for Cuddyer.
The problems: First, some reports have Cuddyer already weighing a three-year, $24 million offer from the Twins, which is—well, not quite what the Cardinals should have in mind for a guy who isn't replacing any one player. Second, Cuddyer can stand at all those positions, but not very well—even in right field he's a below-average defensive player, and at second and third there is a clear reason that he spends most of his time in right field.
Cuddyer would be a great player on a one-year contract, or if he were average at any of his positions—but with neither of those things an option, the Cardinals should probably pass.
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