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Defending Cuddyer...and Revere

If you could somehow blend the two of them into one player, this probably wouldn't be necessary.  You'd have a speedy, switch-hitting centerfielder with a rocket arm, good pop, and one hell of an endearing personality.  And he'd be what, 25 years old?

But you can't.  I don't think anybody really hates these guys, but you see a lot of comments that tend towards negativity.  For Cuddyer it seems to hinge on the size of his contract, and for Revere on his lack of all five tools.  After the jump I'll attempt to defend these guys using a combination of completely subjective observations, unresearched stats, and laughably horrible comparisons.  Please don't hesitate to call me out--or support me if you feel like it.

 Cuddyer

People who aren't overly flattering of Cuddyer have several complaints, but they almost always start with the suggestion that he is overpaid.  Perhaps if you are in a fantasy auction league.  Perhaps if you live in a Matrix-like world where everyone is no more than a collective amalgamation of statistical past and projected future performances.

But I would argue that Cuddyer has easily exceeded his value to the organization.  First, some bad (but pertinent, I think) comps.  Vernon Wells.  Aaron Rowand. Gary Matthews Jr.  J.D. Drew.  All contemporaries of Cuddyer's who are making as much or more this season and who have earned far more in their lifetimes than he has.  I know, not perfect comps, but of the five who would you rather have (with their current contract) in RF next season?

Second:  I know intangibles are loathed by many, perhaps because they can't be measured.  I would argue that Cuddyer's career might have been more successful, and lucrative, if he had found his permanent home in RF from day one, or even back in the minors.  Due to 'team' needs, he played all over the field and his offense suffered.  *unresearched stat warning*  When he finally found his home in RF, he put up some nice stats that had he started there sooner, I would think would've landed him a nice contract this offseason.  Maybe not Werth $126 Million nice, but better than $10.5 Million and a pat on the back.  So, he put aside his own career to help the team in whatever way he could (including getting bounced around again last year) and maybe the team gave him a bit of a reward contract in return.  He set a good example for his teammates and the entire organization.

2A:  I like to think that good guys like Cuddyer and Nathan (another 'overpaid' player) wield some influence on guys like Thome and Pavano, who ended up taking lesser contracts to play with the Twins.  Cuddyer is the shining example that the Twins do things "The Right Way."  They reward winners, not stat-accumulating cash-seekers.  So I think it would be fair to discount Cuddyer's contract a bit based on what these guys gave up to sign with the Twins.

Revere

He'd probably be viewed a bit more favorable if there weren't so many five-tool OF prospects in the Twins system.  I like to think of him as Ichiro without the arm.  I really believe this guy can hit and he can run.  He is so much more of a sure thing--even if its not as good a thing--than any other prospect in the system, that I'd lay even odds he'll have as much impact on the Twins as all of those guys put together.  I reserve the right to change my opinion on that folowing this season.  But I choose to ignore what he is not and focus on what he is.

Don't get me wrong.  I like the upside of Hicks, Benson, Arcia, et al.  But right now, Benson, the closest, profiles at best as a Jason Repko, unless he learns to hit.  The rest of them are so far off its not even worth comparing them.

Conclusion

Definitely feel free to disagree, especially about Revere.  But I truly appreciate Cuddyer, and I don't feel some mythical 'replacement' player could come close to equalling his worth.  In all the angst about the quietness of this offseason, perhaps what has been missed is how tumultuous next years could be, with the potential loss of Cuddy, Kubel, Thome, Nathan, and probably two or three starting pitcher (in deference to Gibson, Wimmers, Bromberg.) 

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