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Source: Mets interested in Michael Cuddyer

The National League's Michael Cuddyer, of the Colorado

The National League's Michael Cuddyer, of the Colorado Rockies, waves after hitting during theHome Run Derby, on Monday, July 15, 2013. Credit: AP / Matt Slocum

The Mets will have interest in soon-to-be free-agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer, whose bat could provide a jolt to a sagging offense that was particularly vulnerable to lefthanded pitching.

A source confirmed on Thursday that the Mets have discussed signing Cuddyer, whose friendship with David Wright dates to their days growing up in the Tidewater region of Virginia.

Injuries often have curtailed Cuddyer's production, and that issue cropped up again this season when he was limited to 49 games for the Rockies.

Cuddyer will be 36 by Opening Day, but when healthy, he long has been a productive righthanded hitter. He hit .332/.376/.579 with 10 homers for the Rockies despite his injury-ravaged season.

The Mets' interest in the 14-year veteran, which initially was reported by the Daily News, comes as little surprise, given their need for a corner outfielder with some power.

Cuddyer was an All-Star in 2013, when he hit .331 to win the National League batting title and had 20 homers and 84 RBIs.

He has been particularly potent against lefties throughout his career. For the Mets, he could fit as a strong platoon option in the corner outfield with Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Matt den Dekker, and potentially at first base with the lefthanded-hitting Lucas Duda.

Cuddyer could represent an offensive upgrade that comes without parting with any young pitching, which the Mets have been hesitant to do via a trade.

The website recently projected Cuddyer to sign a deal in the two-year, $22-million range.

He could be goldenJuan Lagares' brilliance in centerfield earned him some recognition, and this could be just the start.

For the first time in his career, Lagares on Thursday was named a finalist for the National League Gold Glove award in centerfield, joining the Nationals' Denard Span and the Reds' Billy Hamilton.

Winners will be announced on Nov. 4.

The award is given based mostly on a vote of coaches and managers, though it also factors in advanced defensive metrics, which generally paint Lagares in a favorable light.

For instance, Lagares ranked second among all outfielders in defensive runs saved. He also had six outfield assists, though that total was somewhat stunted because opposing players were wary of challenging his powerful arm.

If he wins, Lagares will become only the third Mets outfielder to win the award, putting him in the same company as Tommie Agee (1970) and Carlos Beltran (2006-08).

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