Surgery for Cuddyer, but not needed for Lagares

Surgery for Cuddyer, but not needed for Lagares

NEW YORK -- While one Mets outfielder spent Thursday in the operating room, another avoided that fate. Michael Cuddyer underwent surgery to repair what the team called "a core muscle injury," but Juan Lagares, who saw a team doctor earlier this week regarding a nagging injury to his right elbow, will not need an operation.

Cuddyer, 36, hit .259 with a .699 OPS this season, going homerless over his final 22 games. He hardly played in the postseason as a result, striking out in seven of his 12 plate appearances. For a significant chunk of the season, he attempted to play with an injured left knee, an injury that eventually forced him to the disabled list and cost him three weeks from late July to early August.

The Mets still owe Cuddyer $12.5 million in the final year of his contract, though they no longer have a place for him in the everyday lineup. Most likely, Cuddyer will start sporadically at first base and the corner outfield positions when the Mets face left-handed pitchers; otherwise he will come off the bench.

Lagares, 26, was a significantly diminished defensive player this summer after winning his first Gold Glove in center field last year. Many of his struggles revolved around his throwing elbow, which he injured late in 2014 and never had repaired. Though manager Terry Collins mentioned casually this summer that Lagares could eventually need Tommy John surgery, that is not on the immediate horizon.

Lagares' four-year, $23 million contract extension is due to kick in next year.

• The Mets also announced on Friday that catcher Anthony Recker, outfielder Eric Young Jr. and infielder Wilfredo Tovar have elected free agency. None of the three factored into the team's future plans.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.