Dejan Kovacevic reports that, per a team source, the Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t approached Andrew McCutchen about a multi-year extension yet. I talked earlier in the year about the possibility that McCutchen could be a Super Two eligible player after the 2011 season, which could boost his potential earnings in arbitration.
Extensions for players like Ryan Braun and Evan Longoria get a lot of publicity, and are always pointed to by fans as something their team should do. However, those extensions are more of the exception than the rule. Players usually don’t sign multi-year extensions until they reach arbitration. That’s due to the risk on both sides. The team could potentially be wasting a lot of money on a guy who they’ve only seen for 1-2 seasons. The player could be losing a lot of potential money if he hasn’t reached his maximum potential in the first 1-2 seasons of his career.
I would like to see McCutchen signed to a long term deal which buys out at least two of his free agent years, although I don’t think that’s a top priority until he becomes arbitration eligible. Even if they did do an extension this year, it’s not something that would need to be done this early in the off-season.