Our Year in Review series continues today with a look at Ronny Cedeno‘s 2012. Coming off two straight years of starting for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the middle infielder was only able to secure a backup role with the Amazins this past season, and made the most of his opportunities, which could potentially help him as he re-enters the free agent market this winter.
How He Handled the Bat
Comparing his production with the amount of playing time he received, Cedeno had one of his best offensive seasons in the Big Leagues, as he put together a .259/.332/.410 line. His batting average was the highest it’s been since he hit .269 with the Cubs in 2008; his OBP was it’s highest since his rookie season in Chicago (.365), and his slugging percentage was a career high. In 247 less at-bats in 2012 (413 vs. 166), Cedeno hit two more home runs than the year prior, while driving in 10 fewer runs. He appeared in 78 games for the Mets, and never really had a solid string of starts. Cedeno did take over shortstop duties for the injured Ruben Tejada in May, until of course, he went on the DL.
Cedeno could command a more lucrative contract for another team looking for middle infielders, but his agent will likely use his numbers this year to try and find him a starting job. Some will look at what he did at the plate and say he deserves to be a starter again, I look at it and say he’s better suited as a part-time player.
How He Handled the Glove
Most of Cedeno’s time in the field as spent at either shortstop of second base, being the backup to Tejada and giving Daniel Murphy a day off here and there against a tough lefties. Between those two positions on the diamond, he started 40 games and committed four errors in 148 chances, good enough for a .973 fielding percentage. He made some nice plays while filling in for the starters, but didn’t do anything that was outrageous, while his range factor per 9 innings (3.89) and per game (2.62) were both well below the league average (4.52 and 4.47, respectively). Also, with Justin Turner able to play the same positions as Cedeno, it makes potentially losing him to free agency not hurt as much.
Projected Role in 2013
If Cedeno does return to the Mets for another season, it will be in the same role he filled in 2012, which was filling in at second base and shortstop when needed, as well as fielding some innings at third base sparingly. He played well during his few opportunities, but he’s definitely not a player that will be filling a starting role for New York in the near future. Cedeno will likely shop around for a contract worth more money and for more years with the chance of being a starter, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back in the Orange and Blue as a reserve in 2013.
Contract Status and Trade Rumors
Cedeno is a free agent, as he recently completed a one-year/$1.2 million deal he signed with the Mets last winter. There were no trade rumors surrounding the infielder throughout the year because even though he has experience as a starter, it doesn’t seem like many teams view him in that kind of role. However, there have been rumors that Cedeno was not satisfied being a backup, and will want to pursue once again being a starter, so he would then not fit on the Mets roster. Even if Daniel Murphy is traded this off-season, Alderson would not be looking to Ronny to filling that hole at second base.