The Pittsburgh Pirates have, finally, after a couple of years of trade rumors, shipped out All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen. The 31-year old hit 28 home runs last year, and has belted at least 21 in every season since 2011.
The Giants traded incumbent center fielder Denard Span to Tampa Bay in the late December deal that brought Evan Longoria to San Francisco. As the Pirates are looking to "rebuild", they are attempting to trade away their valuable assets to get some quality prospects to help bolster their farm system.
That is, the Pirates have made a decision to play for another day. In the 20 years after his departure, the team failed to make the postseason.
McCutchen, a five-time All-Star, was the National League's MVP in 2013.
Were the Pirates still a contending team, they likely would've held on to McCutchen.
In almost 6,000 plate appearance (5,829) with the Pirates, McCutchen produced a.291 batting average, 203 home runs, 725 RBI, while getting on-base at.379 clip and slugging.487. Without Cole, just one Pirates starter had enough innings to qualify for the ERA title last season (Ivan Nova), and no starter (not even Cole) had an ERA under 4.00 in 2017.
Initial reports have not mentioned what the Pirates will be getting back from the Giants in exchange for their top star.
Together, the two right-handed hitters balance the Giants' lineup and add some much-needed power to the team that finished last in baseball in home runs past year.
Although they have agreed to a trade for McCutchen, the Giants might not be done in their pursuit of outfield depth.