Colorado Rockies: Could a deal be reached for Andrew McCutchen?
By Kevin Henry
It is being reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates are possibly looking to move All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen in the final year of his contract. Could the Colorado Rockies be a potential destination?
The 31-year-old McCutchen is in the final year of a seven-year, $65 million contract heading into the 2018 campaign and is due $14.5 million this season. The Pirates are reportedly open to listening to offers for McCutchen, thinking he could walk after this season and Pittsburgh would get nothing in return. Because of that, Jon Morosi of MLB.com is saying that McCutchen will be one of the most intriguing trade candidates at this year’s Winter Meetings.
McCutchen has played well at Coors Field throughout his career. In 30 games, he has put together a slash line of .313/.443/.580 and an OPS of 1.023. That is the highest mark McCutchen has put up at any National League stadium.
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For McCutchen to be a part of the Rockies, two things would likely have to happen. First, he would have to move to right field. It is not completely out of the realm of possibility as he played 13 games there last season for the Pirates.
Also of note, McCutchen’s Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) was -28 in 2016 (the lowest of any MLB center fielder) and improved to -14 in 2017. While in right field last season, that number was +2.
Second, the Rockies would have to give the Pirates something they would want. Last offseason when rumors of McCutchen being on the trading block were running rampant, it was said the Pirates coveted pitching in return. Would the Rockies be willing to part with someone like a Jeff Hoffman and likely another prospect in order to make the deal happen?
It might even take more. We asked our FanSided colleagues at RumBunter.com who cover the Pirates what it might take to grab McCutchen away. Their thoughts? At least two of a team’s top five prospects and a young controllable pitcher or third baseman. Yes, it would be a high return.
However, an outfield featuring Ian Desmond, Gerardo Parra, Charlie Blackmon and McCutchen would be intriguing and give the Rockies plenty of power options. McCutchen has also batted third in 959 of the 1,330 Major League games in which he has started. He could slide into that position with the Rockies as well, giving Colorado a top of the lineup that would feature Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu, McCutchen and Nolan Arenado.
Next: Examining what could be on Colorado's Winter Meeting wish list
The Rockies landing McCutchen might seem like a bit of a longshot. However, Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich has a history of surprises in the offseason, including signing Desmond and closer Greg Holland last season. While a power-hitting corner outfielder may be low on Bridich’s priority list in Orlando, it is still on the list. With the Pirates listening to offers for McCutchen, it might be the perfect time to investigate the possibility.