Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
Finally, there’s none other than former NL MVP five-tool superstar Andrew McCutchen. As a member of the Phillies back in 2019-21, the Phillies were expecting great production from the five-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger in helping them potentially to getting back into the playoffs. However, McCutchen turned out to be in his declining stages of his career and was unable to reproduce the stellar numbers he had put up during the hay days with the Pittsburgh Pirates prior to 2018. In the three years with the Phillies, he hit only .237 and averaged less than 23 home runs and 70 RBI per year (over a 162-game pace), with hardly any stolen bases to show for as well, with speed once being his forte.
This year, McCutchen has caught on back with his former club, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and in doing so, it seemed to have rejuvenated the soon-to-be 37-year-old. For the season, he is hitting .268, which is close to his career average of .277, along with an OPS of .808, OPS+ of 121, with 38 runs scored, 10 home runs, 28 RBI, nine stolen bases and 49 walks. So he has been able to consistently get on base and make things happen like he used to in his early years.
For someone like McCutchen, with his sights on retirement on the horizon in the coming years, he may be looking for that one last chance of postseason glory, because despite his dominance back in the early 2010s, he has actually never advanced past the Divisional Series in any of his postseason appearances. In addition, with his advanced age, he may be more willing to play in a part-time role on a contending team, just to fulfill his dream of winning a World Series before he calls it a career.
The Phillies may be able to provide him with that chance, as with their plan to move Bryce Harper to first base, and Kyle Schwarber potentially being used interchangeably between left field and DH, McCutchen would fit in seamlessly by spelling Schwarber on days where he isn’t playing in the field, as well as getting some at-bats in the DH spot if both Schwarber and Harper are playing in the field. So perhaps this last chance of glory can help motivate McCutchen into providing that spark for the Phillies to be successful in the postseason once again this year.