Just 2 days after the Pittsburgh Pirates shipped their ace Geritt Cole off to Huston for a 4-player package, the Bucs decided to launch their inevitable rebuild on Monday when they traded one of the greatest players to ever put on a Pirates uniform to the San Francisco Giants.
Andrew McCutchen came into the 2017-18 offseason as one of the most likely stars to get traded this offseason and it is now official. Andrew McCutchen will be playing out the last year of his contract in San Francisco. The star center fielder will make a total of $14.5 million in this upcoming season, which is great for the Giants who will make a significant upgrade in their struggling outfield for low pay and no long-term commitment. Additionally, unless he signs an extension with San Francisco in 2018, McCutchen will be one of many stars to hit the free agent market in the 2018-19 offseason.
McCutchen has came onto the scene in 2009, in which he came in fourth place in the Rookie of the Year voting behind Tommy Hanson, J.A. Happ, and Chris Coghlan. Little did everyone know, a Pittsburgh icon was born.
The Pirates had suffered 21 consecutive years in which they did not make the playoffs, and in 2013, McCutchen led the Pirates to a playoff berth for the first time in seemingly forever. McCutchen would take home MVP honors in the Pirates’ magical 2013 season and would lead them back to the playoffs in 2014 and 2015 before the team came in 3rd place in their division in 2016 and 4th in 2017. Regardless, McCutchen had cemented his legacy as one of the greatest Pirates ever and made baseball in Pittsburgh not only watchable but fun to watch.
McCutchen won 4 Silver Slugger Awards, a Gold Glove, and received 5 All-Star nods in his 9-year Pirates career. In 2017, McCutchen hit .279 with 28 home runs, 88 RBI, and 159 hits. He also amassed an OPS+ of 129 (100 is league average), 2.5 WAR, with a .363 OBP and an OPS of .849.
McCutchen will be sent to San Francisco in return for the Giants’ No 4 prospect OF Bryan Reynolds and RHP Kyle Crick. Reynolds hit .312 with 10 home runs and 153 hits in just 121 games for the San Jose Giants in 2017, while Crick made 30 relief appearances in 2017 for the Giants and had an ERA of 3.06.
The Giants have now traded for Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen this offseason, showing us that they intend to prove that their mediocre 2017 was a fluke, and while this was a smart move for the Giants, this is a sucker punch to the heart for all Pittsburgh Pirates fans and even Andrew McCutchen who wrote a heartfelt farewell note to all of the fans that had watched him become a Pittsburgh sports icon over the course of the past 9-years.