Pirates To Sign Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen goes again to the place it began. The free-agent outfielder has agreed to a one-year deal to return to the Pirates, stories Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The settlement is pending a bodily.

It’s a feel-good story for Bucs followers, who’ll absolutely give the five-time All-Star and 2013 National League MVP a hero’s welcome in his return to PNC Park. The Pirates chosen McCutchen, now 36 years outdated, with the No. 11 general choose within the 2005 draft. He instantly ranked among the many sport’s high general prospects after a powerful post-draft exhibiting within the minors in ’05, and by 2009 he’d reached the Majors and performed his means right into a fourth-place Rookie of the Year end within the National League , hitting .286/.365/.471.

That served as a stepping stone into stardom for McCutchen, who’d spend the primary 9 seasons of his profession in black and gold, hitting a mixed .291/.379/.487 with 203 dwelling runs, 292 doubles, 44 triples and 171 stolen bases A real cornerstone participant, McCutchen led the Pirates to their three most up-to-date postseason appearances, in 2013, 2014 and 2015 — every a Wild Card berth. Pittsburgh solely superior in a type of three seasons, topping the Reds in a one-game Wild Card showdown in 2013 earlier than falling to the Cardinals in that yr’s NLDS.

McCutchen signed an early extension with Pittsburgh — a six-year, $51.5MM contract with a membership possibility for a seventh season. That gave the Bucs some further membership management and price certainty over a participant who was then the face of the franchise, however as is so usually the case with the Pirates and different low-payroll golf equipment, McCutchen surfaced as a commerce candidate within the late levels of that contract. Nearly six years after that extension was signed, McCutchen was traded to the Giants in what was an unpopular transfer on the time however now appears to be like like maybe the perfect swap in former GM Neal Huntington’s tenure. In order to accumulate the ultimate yr of McCutchen’s contract, the Giants parted with the right-hander Kyle Crick and the person who ultimately changed McCutchen within the outfield: present heart fielder Bryan Reynolds.

Since leaving the Pirates and coming into his mid-30s, McCutchen’s manufacturing has begun to wane. He proved loads productive in a 2018 season cut up between the Giants and Yankees — sufficient to land a three-year, $50MM contract with the Phillies. The first season of that deal noticed continued manufacturing early on, however McCutchen suffered a torn ACL that June, missed the rest of the season, and has since settled in nearer to league-average when it comes to offensive output. Over the previous three seasons, he is a .234/.325/.417 hitter — about three % higher than the league common, by measure of wRC+.

McCutchen spent the 2022 marketing campaign with Milwaukee and scuffled to a career-low .237/.316/.384 batting line in 580 journeys to the plate. Even as McCutchen’s bat started to decelerate in his post-Pirates days, he remained a potent menace towards left-handed pitching, hitting southpaws at a .291/.407/.567 slash from 2019-21. However, that development additionally dipped with the Brewers in 2022, as McCutchen turned in a tepid .221/.303/.434 line even when holding the platoon benefit. The Pirates will hope that it was extra of a BABIP-driven anomaly (.248) than the start of a real decline.

McCutchen served because the Brewers’ major possibility at designated hitter final season (82 video games) but in addition logged 50 video games within the outfield. He hasn’t topped 93 innings of heart area work since 2017, his final yr with the Pirates, although, and at 36 years outdated it would not appear probably that he’ll return to logging significant time at his former place. He’ll probably get occasional appears to be like at designated hitter, although with Pittsburgh already buying first basemen Ji-Man Choi and Carlos Santana this offseason, a type of two figures to be the primary possibility at DH. McCutchen offers the Pirates’ outfield combine a right-handed bat to pair with lefty-swinging nook choices like Jack Suwinski, Cal Mitchell and Canaan Smith-Njigba.

Beyond the contributions he’ll make on the sphere and the mentorship he’ll present to a number of up-and-coming younger Pirates, McCutchen will give followers loads to cheer for in 2023 as he chases down a number of profession milestones. He’s simply 52 hits shy of reaching 2000 in his profession, and he is solely 13 dwelling runs shy of 300. McCutchen slugged 17 dwelling runs final yr and hasn’t hit fewer than 13 in a full season’s price of video games in his profession thus far , so he is an excellent guess to achieve each spherical numbers this yr.

More to return.

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