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Cuddyer in demand. Will Rocks listen?
The Colorado Rockies on Tuesday acquired right-hander Mitchell Boggs from the St. Louis Cardinals. They’re exploring other buy-low possibilities for their rotation and bullpen. And they could activate injured shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and center fielder Dexter Fowler on Thursday for an important four-game series at Dodger Stadium.
Other clubs, however, are watching the Rockies closely, viewing them as possible sellers and targeting All-Star right fielder Michael Cuddyer as a potential acquisition, according to major league sources.
The Rockies have not discussed Cuddyer with other teams, sources say. Cuddyer is under contract next season for $10.5 million, and the club intends for him to take over first base from Todd Helton, who is in the final year of his deal.
Cuddyer, 34, entered Tuesday second in the National League with a .972 OPS. The Rockies consider him a valuable part of their clubhouse culture, and sources say that they would be more inclined to move one of two right-handed relievers, Matt Belisle or Rafael Betancourt, if they ended up sellers.
The Rangers and Pirates, however, are among the contenders that want to add a right-handed slugger like Cuddyer. A number of other teams — including the Reds, Rays, Yankees and Giants — also would figure to have interest.
The Rockies could replace Cuddyer in the outfield next season with a younger player such as Corey Dickerson, who currently is on the major league roster, or Kyle Parker, who is at Double-A. But replacing Cuddyer’s offensive production would be difficult, and the team also would face a void at first base if they traded him.
That said, the Rockies are forever in search of pitching. They would want a lot for Cuddyer, but he potentially could bring them a prized young arm, and maybe more.
The next three weeks will be pivotal, determining the team’s course.
For now, the Rockies aren’t ready to listen on Cuddyer or anyone else of value — they entered Tuesday four games under .500, but only 4-1/2 games out of first place in the hotly contested National League West.
After the break, they will open a 10-game homestand against three sub-.500 clubs — the Cubs, Marlins and Brewers. That homestand concludes on July 28, three days before the non-waiver deadline.
Until then, other clubs will wait. Monitor the Rockies’ progress. And hope for a shot at Cuddyer.