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MLB Rumors: Pirates Trade Star Outfielder Andrew McCutchen To Giants

16 January 2018, 12:55 | Tracey Rhodes

MLB Rumors: Pirates Trade Star Outfielder Andrew McCutchen To Giants

MLB Rumors: Pirates Trade Star Outfielder Andrew McCutchen To Giants

The All-Star outfielder and 2013 National League MVP batted.279 with a.363 on-base percentage, .486 slugging percentage, .849 OPS, 28 homers, 30 doubles, two triples and 88 RBIs during 2017.

After trading Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros, it was believed that McCutchen would be the next in line to be dealt. He was never a top tier center fielder even in his prime, but the Giants are much more likely to play McCutchen, 31, on a corner given his age and only a year removed from being the worst center fielder in baseball by defensive runs saved. Good for him, as he can be a free agent after the 2018 season, and good for the Pirates, who'd seemingly been shopping him for better than a year.

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The rebuild is officially on in Pittsburgh. Marte and Polanco probably won't be dealt, partly because of the crowded outfield market remaining this winter, and partly because they can be controlled into the next decade (Marte through 2021, Polanco through 2023). It will be a tough race for the Giants in 2018, considering they have the Dodgers, Rockies, and Diamondbacks to deal with in their division. Meeting McCutchen's asking price in free agency would put a big strain on Pittsburgh's payroll, which is to say nothing about whether re-signing an aging outfielder during a rebuilding period is a sensible use of the team's resources. He's owed $14.5 million.

McCutchen is, of course, not the first former MVP to make the move from Pittsburgh to San Francisco. The McCutchen-led Pirates also made appearances in the NL wild-card game in 2014 and 2015 but struggled to losing records in each of the last two seasons.

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The Giants struggled big time in 2017, going 64-98, but they appear to be set on attempting to contend in 2018.

Were the Pirates still a contending team, they likely would've held on to McCutchen.

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