DENVER, CO - APRIL 16: Michael Cuddyer #3 of the Colorado Rockies takes the field against the New York Mets at Coors Field on April 16, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images Limited to 49 games this season, Michael Cuddyer hits .332 with 10 homers and 31 RBI for the Rockies.

Baseball’s hot stove hasn’t even been lit and the Mets already have their man. And their captain’s man, too.

On the eve of the GM meetings — the unofficial start of the hot stove season — the Mets moved quickly, signing outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a two-year deal on Monday. According to two sources, the deal is believed to be worth $21 million, but it also cost the Mets a first-round pick in 2015, which is the big reason the signing was so surprising.

Just two years ago, the Mets were unwilling to give up a first-round pick when outfielder Michael Bourn was on the market. Monday, the Mets didn’t let it stop them.

“We’ve talked a lot about not giving up picks,” Mets assistant GM John Ricco said. “In this case, we looked at it, did the analysis and decided that this player was worth it.”

From the Norfolk (Va.) area like new teammate David Wright, a two-time All-Star and the 2013 NL batting champion, Cuddyer — who will turn 36 on March 27 — had been all but ruled out of the Mets plans last week when the Rockies extended him a qualifying offer, putting the draft pick compensation on the table. With a limited number of bats available via free agency or trade, however, the Mets decided they had to go for it.

New York Daily News

“We thought this was a way to clearly upgrade our team and our lineup,” Ricco continued. “(GM) Sandy (Alderson) has talked about how we’re looking to turn the corner here and start to compete in 2015. I think …read more