Is Andrew McCutchen leaving Pittsburgh Pirates? The team has intensified efforts to trade the 2013 National League MVP.
Sources revealed that the Pirates have been talking with Washington Nationals, the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Nationals remain interested in getting McCutchen. Having him on the team would allow Trea Turner to move back to shortstop.
A transfer to Texas Rangers would reunite McCutchen and Rangers manager Jeff Banister, who was former Pirates bench coach. However, the Rangers have fewer prospects to deal for the outfielder.
Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington has been considering offers for McCutchen, sources say. Furthermore, he has been calling teams who might be interested in the center fielder.
The Pirates have been asking other teams about major league outfielders, a source reveals. This indicates the team is preparing for the McCutchen trade.
Fox Sports has identified McCutchen as “the most likely” to be traded this winter season.
Pittsburgh Pirates Need A Good Pitcher
The 11th overall pick in 2005 has performed badly in the 2016 season. His .241 batting average dropped more than 50 points off his career norm. McCutchen’s .311 on-base percentage is considerably lower. Also, his .710 OPS is 170 points lower than his career average. What’s more, he has struck out in 25 percent of his plate appearances.
The Pirates have yet to discuss a long-term extension with McCutchen. The fielder is owed $14 million next season. He also has a $14.75 million team option for 2018.
If the Pittsburgh Pirates trade McCuthen, they could make several adjustments. They can transfer Starling Marte from left field to center. Gregory Polanco and Josh Bell could take the corner outfield posts. At the same time, John Jaso and David Freese could return to a first-base platoon.
To prepare for the next season, they also have to acquire a good pitcher. However, the only way they could do this is through trade. And, they could place McCutchen on the table to trade him off for a good pitcher.