PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- In unexpectedly retiring this offseason with a year left on his contract, Michael Cuddyer left around $10 million on the table, a source tells MLB.com. The New York Post first reported Wednesday that Cuddyer accepted a buyout from the Mets worth between $2 million and $3 million.
Coming off an injury-plagued 2015 season that saw him appear in only 117 games, hitting .259 with 10 home runs, Cuddyer was owed $12.5 million in '16. He could have collected that sum if he remained injured or unproductive, or even if he spent the entire season on the disabled list.
Instead, Cuddyer negotiated a modest settlement with the Mets, seeking to retire after a 15-year career that included two All-Star appearances. Neither side revealed details of the pact at the time.
"I just knew I wasn't going to be able to give what I expect myself to give out on the field," Cuddyer said in December. "I knew I could still bring leadership and still bring qualities that can contribute. But I take a lot of pride in playing the game the right way, and playing the game the way that I know I was capable of playing. I didn't feel like I could bring that anymore. And with great humility, I made the decision."
Saving $10 million enabled the Mets to become more aggressive in their free-agent pursuits this offseason, signing Asdrubal Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Jerry Blevins, Alejandro De Aza, Antonio Bastardo and, eventually, Yoenis Cespedes. Those six players will make over $50 million combined this season.
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.