The Philadelphia Phillies have made their fair share of additions ever since president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski came on board to essentially take over front office duties of both Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak.
Each move has been made to build up the roster in preparation for the team to contend in a potent National League East — widely considered to be the most competitive division in Major League Baseball.
Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen could be a valuable trade deadline piece.
The best-case scenario for the Phillies in 2021 is that they remain in either division title or Wild Card contention through most of the 162-game season. What would happen if the team falters, especially early on when it starts the season with a six-game homestand — three against the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets each, before embarking on a seven-game road trip against the same teams?
According to MLB insider Buster Olney, Dombrowski might not be shy to sell off pieces — particularly veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen — if the latter scenario comes to fruition.
“The NL East is arguably the best division in baseball; all five teams are actually trying to win in 2021. Philadelphia has an enormous challenge,” Olney writes. “With David Dombrowski in his first year running the team’s baseball operations, he is in good position politically to wave the white flag in July if the Phillies lag behind the Braves, Mets, Nationals and Marlins.”
Olney continued that “for the most part” the current Phillies roster makeup is “not his team,” given it was built by someone else. “With his plate discipline and experience, McCutchen, if healthy, would be attractive to contenders,” said Olney.
Andrew McCutchen is entering his final year on his Phillies contract.
The former MVP, five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, and Gold Glover is on the final year of his three-year, $50 million contract with the Phillies. McCutchen is owed at least $20 million this season, and can be either bought out for $3 million or kept at his $15 million team option for the 2022 season.
An extremely popular player both among his teammates and fans, there is no doubt that McCutchen brings much more to the organization than just his play on the field. The 34-year-old is far from his perennial All-Star days with the Pittsburgh Pirates, however.
Considering McCutchen’s devastating ACL injury suffered during his first season in red pinstripes, he has still been serviceable — slashing .255/.352/.445 through 116 games, while slugging 21 doubles, 20 home runs, and 63 RBI.
For everyone’s sake, hopefully Dombrowski is not faced with selling off pieces of the team come this summer’s trade deadline.