Michael Cuddyer

Michael Cuddyer will certainly be playing in a much less hitter friendly ballpark Getty Images

The free agency period beganjustlast week, and the Mets — strangely enough — are the first team to make a significant move.

New York signed veteran outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a two-year deal, the team announced Monday. ESPN reports the deal is worth $21 million total, with $8.5 million coming in 2015 and $12.5 million in 2016.

Cuddyer, 35, hit .332 with 10 home runs and 31 RBIs in 49 games last season. He was on the disabled list three times, however. And those numbers came in the friendly confines of Coors Field in Colorado.

He was still a productive hitter even in his early 30s in Minnesota, though. He hit at least .270 with an on-base percentage over .330 in each of the three years he played after 30 for the Twins.


The Mets will surrender their No. 15 pick to sign Cuddyer, who is a Type A free agent. The team was reluctant to sign Michael Bourn before the 2013 season, because only the top-10 picks are protected and they owned the No. 11 spot.

General manager Sandy Alderson has generally been inclined to develop draft picks instead of free agents, but the team did sign free agents Bartolo Colon and Curtis Granderson to multi-year deals last season.

Cuddyer will start in either left or right field. He's typically played right field, where Granderson played last season. But Granderson has said he wouldn't mind switching to left field.

Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.

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