Phillies free agency rumors: Team to sign former MVP Andrew McCutchen
By John Town
Soon after a report that the Phillies had “significant interest” in Andrew McCutchen, the Phillies signed the former MVP for three years and $50 million.
The Phillies have stated that they are looking for an upgrade in the outfield, and while it is not the player many thought it would be, an upgrade has come nonetheless. Matt Gelb of the Athletic reported that the Philadephia and McCutchen have agreed to a deal, pending a physical.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia and Todd Zolecki of MLB.com both reported that McCutchen will get a three-year deal. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the deal will be worth $50 million. The deal will include a club option according to Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports.
Salisbury first reported Tuesday that the Phillies have “significant interest” in signing McCutchen according to sources. Chris Cotillo of MassLive tweeted that a rival executive believed that Philadelphia was close to signing an outfielder Monday night. Cotillo credited Salisbury’s report, stating that McCutchen is a possibility to be signed.
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In addition, Salisbury noted that signing McCutchen would not keep Philadelphia from signing Bryce Harper or another outfielder. This could lead to an outfield of McCutchen in left, Harper in right, and one of Odubel Herrera or Roman Quinn in center field.
Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic also reported that this deal leaves open the possibility of one of the younger outfielders getting traded.
Rosenthal also reported that Sixto Sanchez, the team’s top prospect, has been included in multiple trade discussions as well. This could lead to a package of Sanchez, Nick Williams, and other prospects in a potential trade.
McCutchen is far from his prime with the Pirates, but he remains a steady offensive producer into his 30s. In 155 games with the Giants and Yankees in 2018, McCutchen had a .255/.368/.424 line, 20 home runs, 65 runs batted in, and 14 stolen bases.
McCutchen was an All-Star for five straight seasons from 2011 to 2015. He finished in the top five of MVP voting from 2012 to 2015, winning the award in 2013. In 2014, McCutchen led the league with a .410 on-base percentage and .952 OPS, along with 25 home runs and 83 runs batted in.
While McCutchen may not be as exciting of a signing as other players, it may simply be the first of multiple signings to upgrade the lineup.