Giants Deal For Pirates Slugger Andrew McCutchen

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

McCutchen bounced back last season after his lackluster 2016 campaign, hitting.279/.363/.486 with 28 homers and 11 stolen bases across 156 games.

On Monday the Giants traded for five-time All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen, and it appears they did so without giving up any of their top prospects. Any three would do the trick and would be cheap for a two or three year contract. While he likely lacks the ability to play centerfield anymore, no one could be worse defensively than Denard Span last season - so Cutch is an upgrade. Without McCutchen, fans are looking at an offense led by Josh Harrison, David Freese, and the perennially disappointing outfield duo of Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco. Unlike Longoria, McCutchen has just one season remaining before he's eligible for free agency.

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The next step for Pittsburgh should be easy - keep the rebuild flowing along. But relief pitcher Kyle Crick reportedly is part of the deal.

The price for free agent corner outfielders was likely too high and so was the price for Lorenzo Cain.

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In his first three years with the team, Pittsburgh averaged 98 losses a season. David Freese can be a Pirate through 2019, and at 34, he's even older than Harrison. He's owed $14.5 million. The Pirates were unable to consummate a deal involving him then, but moved him from center to right field before the 2017 season.

Rather than watch McCutchen leave at the end of the year and receive nothing in return, the Pirates got back some pieces that can strengthen their farm system.

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The Pirates can't just stop after trading Cole and McCutchen. Thank you, Andrew, for everything you did for this franchise, city, and fanbase. In the 20 years after his departure, the team failed to make the postseason.

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