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Updated: July 13th, 2011 11:28pm
Michael Cuddyer 'not at all' thinking about contract, trade status

Michael Cuddyer 'not at all' thinking about contract, trade status

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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With the Minnesota Twins sitting 6.5 games out of first place as the second half of the season begins on Thursday, several uncertainties linger health-wise, standings-wise and otherwise.

Not the least of which is the future status of outfielder and super-utility man Michael Cuddyer, who went 0-for-1 and played two innings at first base in his first career All-Star Game Tuesday.

Set to become a free agent this offseason, Cuddyer is perhaps the most valuable available trade commodity on a Twins team that isn't guaranteed to be in contention at the deadline on July 31.

One way or another, it's very possible Cuddyer -- who is hitting .298/.369/.474 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs -- could be wearing a different uniform at some point before the end of the calendar year. And a lot of it might depend on where the Twins sit in the standings two weeks from now.

A load for one to ponder?

"Not at all," Cuddyer said in Chicago on Sunday.

"It's (like) not being able to reflect being in the All-Star Game, same thing. Once we started winning a lot in that month of June, your sole focus was on that starting pitcher that you're facing that night, and what you've got to do during the game that I never really thought about, 'What if? What if we stop winning, what's going to happen on July 31?' I never really have thought about it in about a month and a half."

It likely goes without saying, but the Twins' front office is very interested in retaining Cuddyer beyond 2011. And as of right now, Twins executives plan to stay the course this season and continue pushing back toward .500.

If the team keeps winning, the chances of Cuddyer being traded are extremely slim, even though the Phillies and possibly other teams have reportedly expressed interest.

"I mean, if it's going to happen it's going to happen," said Cuddyer, who indicated to CBS Sports last month that he would waive his limited no-trade clause if the Twins deemed themselves sellers.

"There's nothing I'm going to be able to do, there's nothing you can do, there's nothing I can do to control that. It's front offices, it's general managers, it's all that stuff. I've never been in the position before, but I've been in a position where stuff's out of your control."

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Michael Cuddyer
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