Cuddyer for hire

In case you missed it, former Orioles infielder (and part-time catcher) Lenn Sakata was named manager at high Single-A Modesto of the California League.

The Nuts, as they're called, are a Rockies affiliate.

Sakata had been serving as hitting coach at low Single-A Asheville.

The Nuts have two mascots: Al the Almond and Wally the Walnut. I'm not making this up.

Wouldn't it be nice if Tippy Martinez threw out the first pitch, with Sakata behind the plate, for Modesto's home opener next year?

I'm wondering how many Nuts fans would get the connection.

How many of you are attending today's unveiling of the Brooks Robinson statue at the plaza between Washington Boulevard and Russell Street?

MASNsports.com's Pete Kerzel provided details here.

It's a nine-foot bronze statue of Robinson making a throw. You can't miss it.

I was reminded earlier this week that the Orioles will unveil their own statue or monument honoring Robinson and the other Orioles' Hall of Famers next season, with details coming soon. It's been in the works for a while.

I think it should be accompanied by a statue of a very frustrated Lee May.

Of all the names that I've heard attached to the Orioles once the free-agent market opens, Michael Cuddyer could make the most sense.

I anticipate the Orioles making a run at him, now that his four-year, $33.5 million contract with the Twins has expired.

Cuddyer, 32, batted .285 with 29 doubles, two triples, 20 homers, 70 RBIs and an .805 OPS in 139 games this season. He's accumulated 100 doubles, 66 homers and 245 RBIs the past three seasons over 449 games.

His versatility is a major plus. He played 77 games in right field this year, 46 at first base and 17 at second. He also served as the Twins' designated hitter eight times, and actually pitched one inning. In his career, he's played 670 games in right, 210 at first, 171 at third, 79 at second, nine in left and six in center.

The Orioles need a Plan A or B regarding second baseman Brian Roberts, depending how you view the situation. Cuddyer is the exact type of player the Orioles need to bring in: Someone who can move around if Roberts is healthy.

Cuddyer was born in Norfolk, Va. and attended high school in Chesapeake. His agent is Casey Close, one of the really good guys in the business. He's a career .290 hitter against left-handers. He's a career .340 hitter with a .970 OPS in 31 games at Camden Yards.

Works for me.

Just ignore the career .230 average against the Yankees.

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