During the offseason and also during the weeks before the trade deadline, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen’s name was mentioned in trade rumors. This season, McCutchen’s batting average is .293 with 23 home runs and 70 RBI’s, along with 10 stolen bases.
At 30 years old and with one more year left on his contract after this season could the Pirates be willing to trade him to a serious contender in the offseason? Maybe they should so they don’t lose him for anything. Realistically, the Pirates aren’t going to compete for the National League pennant any time soon so trading McCutchen may be the best option now.
The team could get high-end prospects for him and while the Pirates farm system isn’t that bad, the team isn’t that great now either and they need to build for the future. Some of their prospects won’t reach the major leagues until sometime next season or in 2019. They aren’t on the Chicago Cubs level yet and the St. Louis Cardinals will find a way to bounce back in 2018.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has a club option for the 2018 season and it is very possible they may not pick it up. If that’s the case does McCutchen really want to play for a different manager for just one season in case he decides not to come back in 2019?
Teams like the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, Houston Astros, or the Kansas City Royals would make sense for him to be traded to. Those teams have solid prospects to give the Pirates a favorable return that bolsters the farm system and allows McCutchen to play for a team set up to win.