Will the Phillies spend big or smart next offseason when it comes to left field?
Technically speaking, the Phillies already have their left field position under lock for another three full seasons. Andrew McCutchen has two years and $37 million left on his current contract, with a team option for the 2022 season. After a strong start to his debut season with the Phillies, many fans are seemingly correct in feeling he will be around for a while.
However, when it comes to the MLB, you’re only as valuable to a team as your current production. McCutchen turns 34 years old this October and is still recovering from a nasty knee injury. While I personally love “Cutch” and hope he’s able to hang around for another few seasons, it’s not crazy to think the Phillies could begin to look elsewhere.
Matt Klentak and the rest of the front office were clever when they constructed McCutchen’s contract, giving themselves plenty of options to get out of it down the road. With this question likely to be a topic of debate this upcoming offseason, here are five avenues the Phillies could go down when it comes to the future in left field.
Option one is simply keeping Andrew McCutchen. As mentioned previously, Cutch is still locked in for the 2021 season with a team option for 2022. While the salary numbers for these years are quite large ($20 million and $15 million), the Phillies aren’t strangers when it comes to overpaying to keep talent around. As long as McCutchen is still producing into his mid-30s, there would be no pressing reason to move off of him.
He was extremely effective in the leadoff position at the start of last season (.378 OBP) and appears to be universally liked by everyone in the clubhouse. Committing some serious cash to keep someone like that around isn’t a bad decision by any means. If anything, it would confirm just how good of a decision it was to sign him in the first place.