While he’s not the outfielder that the Phillies are hoping to sign, Andrew McCutchen accepted the Phillies three-year offer to join the Phillies as a free agent. McCutchen, 32, is guaranteed a minimum of $50-million with the deal, which also includes a $15-million team option for the 2022 season.
In 2018, McCutchen played for both the Giants and Yankees after being dealt to New York on August 30th, just prior to the deadline to be eligible for postseason play. The Phillies are still hoping to add free agent Bryce Harper to their outfield mix even after signing McCutchen. The Phillies are also targeting shortstop/third baseman Manny Machado as a free agent and are in the market for a left-handed starter such as J.A. Happ, who the Phillies have been speaking with. McCutchen has seen his numbers decline since winning the 2013 National League Most Valuable Player Award. With the Giants and Yankees, he hit a combined .255 with 20 home runs, 65 RBI and delivered a .792 OPS. With the Yankees, his OPS was .892 in 114 plate appearances. McCutchen has played most of his career in center field but moved to the corner outfield positions full-time last season.
McCutchen has some of the same qualities that the Phillies liked in Carlos Santana, who they traded to Seattle last week in the trade for Jean Segura. Both players are patient hitters at the plate and draw a number of walks while still delivering power. Santana got off to a slow start with the Phillies but still finished the season with a 24-86-.229/.352/.414 line with the Phillies.
The Phillies are blessed with a fresh source of money thanks to a TV contract with NBCSportsPhiladelphia that kicks in for the 2019 season. Even with the added payroll from McCutchen, the Phillies have plenty of money to spend and it is thought that signing both Harper and Machado, and possibly a pitcher, would still be possible financially for the Phillies.
McCutchen started his career with the Pirates, who drafted him with the 11th overall pick of the 2005 Draft out of Fort Meade High School in Florida. The right-handed hitter debuted with Pittsburgh on June 4, 2009 and in 1,346 games with Pittsburgh hit 203-725-.291/.379/.487 before the Pirates traded him to San Francisco last January. In exchange for McCutchen, the Pirates received minor leaguers Bryan Reynolds and Kyle Crick and also received international slot money from the Giants. The Yankees gave up Juan De Paula and Abiatal Avelino to get McCutchen last August.