Teams Still in Pursuit of Andrew McCutchen

In 2016, Andrew McCutchen had his worst season by far as a big leaguer. An offseason full of rumors continues to swirl with teams still attempting to trade for the 30-year-old Pirates’ outfielder. But will any team make an offer the Pirates can’t refuse?

According to Boston Globe reporter Nick Cafardo a MLB source informed him that despite Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington consistently stating it’s not likely that the team deals McCutchen, teams keep contacting him in hopes of a trade.

Teams such as the Mets and Nationals had prior talks in the offseason with the Pirates regarding McCutchen. But no deals occurred. It seems that it might take an offer that blows away Huntington for anything to happen.

Cafardo mentions that the Mariners could eye a trade for McCutchen. The Mariners traded away Seth Smith which creates some room for a potential move for Cutch.

Despite a down season, Huntington is making the right move by not settling for just any deal. Perhaps 2016, was a fluke season for the five-time All-Star. Even in a down year, McCutchen hit 24 home runs and drove in 79 runs.

In his 8 years in the league, McCutchen has hit for a .292 average, he also hit 175 home runs in that span. His best season was in 2013 when he won the NL MVP award. With his FWAR (Fangraphs wins above replacement) at a career-high 8.4 in 2013,

With McCutchen’s numbers decreasing as he ages, teams should hesitate to trade for him. Although he can bring a strong bat to the lineup, his value might not be worth the players a team would have to give up for him.

Perhaps a change of scenery could help Cutch. As the leader of the Pirates, the team has relied upon him majorly. With a team with more talent, McCutchen may see the pressure taken off of him. But more than likely, he’ll still be with the Pirates in 2017.

If McCutchen can return to MVP-form in 2017, the Pirates could find themselves competing for the playoffs again after a one-year layoff. But if the Pirates fail to compete in the first half of 2017, look for them to deal McCutchen at the trade deadline.

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