New York Mets Sign 2013 Batting Champion Michael Cuddyer

The New York Mets signed outfielder Michael Cuddyer, a two-time All-Star and 2013 National League batting champion, to an offense that ranked 21st out of 30 teams in runs scored last season.

Cuddyer, 35, was limited to 49 games for the Colorado Rockies last season due to injuries, yet hit .332 with 10 home runs and 31 runs batted in. He made three trips to the disabled list with strains of his left shoulder and left hamstring.

The Mets will forfeit the 15th overall pick in the 2015 first-year player draft, while the Rockies will receive a compensation pick between the first and second rounds, according to MLB.com.

Cuddyer, who had starts at first and third base last year in addition to playing right field, led the NL with a career-high .331 batting average during his second season with the Rockies in 2013. He joins a Mets lineup that had the third-lowest team batting average in Major League Baseball last season at .239 while missing the playoffs for the eighth straight year.

“Michael is a tremendous addition to the middle of our lineup,” Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson said yesterday in a statement, without disclosing financial terms of Cuddyer’s two-year deal. “He is a proven offensive threat who also brings versatility in the field with the ability to play multiple positions.”

Cuddyer, who has a .279 career batting average with 187 homers, made $10.5 million in Colorado last season. The Mets will have to give up a draft pick as compensation because the Rockies made Cuddyer a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer for next season.

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