The Twins were summarily crushed last night by the Rangers, losing 20-6 and using Michael Cuddyer to pitch the final inning. With the team now being 8 games under .500, 7 games behind the division leading Tigers, and sitting in 4th place, they may be ready to start selling pieces. One of the more attractive pieces that they have is Michael Cuddyer, and Danny Knobler of CBS Sports suggested that Cuddyer could be a good fit for the Giants (via Twitter). The more I think about this one, it really could be a great fit for the Giants.
Cuddyer is having a very nice year this season, hitting .296/.371/.466 with 14 home runs, 48 runs batted in, 7 stolen bases, and 49 runs scored. In addition to his pitching performance last night (1 IP, 3 BR, 0 R), he has also seen time this season at first base, second base, and in right field. Cuddyer is a free agent after the season, and his salary for this season is $10.5 M for the whole year. Realistically, Cuddyer is probably owed only about $3-$4M of that from this point forward, so his salary may not be an issue to hold up a trade.
The Giants could definitely use a solid bat in their lineup, and while he may not have the upside of someone like Carlos Beltran, he could be a better fit for their roster overall. Cuddyer's position flexibility would be a really big advantage to a National League club, as he can play 1B, 2B, 3B, and the corner outfield spots. However, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tweeted later on that the Twins may want to keep Cuddyer even if they become sellers in the next few days.
I imagine that from the Giants, the Twins would require a decent prospect, but that they definitely be unwilling to give up any of their top prospects like Brandon Belt, Gary Brown, or Zack Wheeler for Cuddyer. The other thing that stands out is that Cuddyer would be a pretty good fit for nearly every contending team, and it could become a seller's market for the Twins. He could be a very nice fall back for teams like the Braves or Phillies if they fail to land Carlos Beltran, and both teams may be willing to give a better prospect than the Giants would.