Michael Cuddyer expected to replace Todd Helton at first base

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado will also pursue a right fielder to fill in for Cuddyer.

The Colorado Rockies are planning to move outfielder Michael Cuddyer to first base next season, owner Dick Monfort told Troy Renck of the Denver Post.

Long-time Rockies first baseman Todd Helton retired at the end of the 2013 season, creating a hole in the infield. The team will move Cuddyer to first base to replace Helton, and will search for a right fielder during the offseason instead.

Cuddyer is coming off his best offensive season, batting .331/.389/.530 with 20 homers and 74 RBI. The right-handed hitter can expect to see his numbers decline next season, he is unlikely to sustain a .382 BABIP, but has hit .277/.345/.462 over 13 seasons in the majors. Cuddyer is a below-average defender in right, so the move to first could help the Rockies defense.

Shin-Soo Choo is considered the top free agent outfielder available, although he is expected to command a hefty price. Carlos Beltran, Nelson Cruz and Corey Hart will also be available in free agency, and the Rockies will check out the trade market as well.

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