The Pirates Officially Announce Andrew McCutchen Signing

The Pittsburgh Pirates officially announced the news we heard last week. Outfielder Andrew McCutchen has returned to the team on a one-year contract. He was drafted by the Pirates, and spent the 2009-2017 seasons with the team. No corresponding move has been announced yet. The Pirates plan to run his press conference on their pages for Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and the team’s official site.

McCutchen is coming off a 2022 season with the Milwaukee Brewers where he had a .237/.316/.384 line in 580 plate appearances. He had 1.1 WAR according to Baseball-Reference. He put up 1.4 WAR with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2021, with better walk and power numbers than the 2022 season.

More on this announcement later.

I’ll include a link to the press conference when it becomes available. It starts at 3:30 PM. Here’s a video just posted by the Pirates

Live press conference:

Here

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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1979andCounting

Listened to the press conference in it’s entirety, thanks John. Couple takeaways:

1) Cutch is ecstatic to be a Pirate again, he’s a genuine guy, very loyal to the city and people of Pittsburgh.
2) He should not have referred to last year’s team as being “special” so many times. A lot of other complimentary terms he could have used, but certainly “special” should not have been one of them. A little bit of overzealousness there.
3) He admitted being a DH was a learning curve for him in Milwaukee. He had to learn how to be best prepared, in the dugout, amount of water intake, going back to the cages, or weights/stretching between AB’s. He was not particularly great as a DH, so hopefully he’ll be more comfortable with a year under his belt.
4) He answered correctly that making personnel decisions was not his job, but he is the type of person who will speak up respectably in the right places at the right time of his choosing.
5) He wants to win, so that’s a different concept from how Shelton has been managing for the most part. Also, it was interesting that Shelton was NOT at the press conference. I thought he should have been there given Cutch’s stature as a Pirate. However, in retrospect, it may be best he wasn’t there. He’s going to have to deal with limiting Cutch’s playing time and/or making tough decisions, if Cutch’s performance is not up to expectations.
6) Because of 4) and 5) Cutch may play a hand in BC keeping BRey at least for this year……if winning is really what BC wants to do. It’s certainly what Cutch came here to do.
7) Cutch praised Cruz’ talent and is looking forward to playing with him. This may be where he could have said the Pirates had some “special” players, not that the 2022 team was special.

Danatural08

Found Cutch’s response on his role with the team interesting. He basically said that he’d play some in the OF, but primarily DH. Wonder if they look to trade Choi now that plans have changed.

b mcferren

Id have rather seen what Andujar could have done than watch Choi

jaygray007

Andujar Dfad

Danatural08

Fine with this, Cutch is an upgrade. Thought it’d be Villade, but he has a couple minor league options which has value.

BonDrone

Kind of surprised by this because they signed him before any of the other arbitration eligible players.

melkel

It might help him get through waivers, a team that claims him will have to pick up the league minimum.

sweetnich

I believe they’ll have to pick up his contract ($1.some MM), not just the minimum

sweetnich

Not Swaggerty, Not Marcano.

Maybe Kranick, maybe Vilade, maybe CSN (he’s not much though he does get on base (in the minors)

AttyMike

Will Nutting come out of the witness protection program and make an appearance today?

1979andCounting

Shelton was not involved in this acquisition according to reports it was Nutting and then BC who met Cutch at the coffee shop in Warrendale. But Shelton is in charge of the lineup decisions…..its going to be interesting. Shelton surely had better be at the press confetence, that goes without saying.

skliesen

Listened to the NS9 podcast with Fort as the guest, and he said Cutch was promised more playing time as a condition for signing with Pirates.

1979andCounting

“Promising playing time as a condition” is always dangerous territory for future conflicts. But I guess if ever an exception could be made for such a promise, it would be for Cutch. Still wondering who made this promise?…..has Shelton been made aware and will he take it seriously? IMO you never want to do this to your manager…….as I said above, it will be interesting.

robertkasperski

He will play McCutchen. The man has had to endure 3:seasons of no real options to put in a lineup. He at least has viable options for once. Will see how good or bad he really is this coming season.

Danatural08

I actually have heard that the lineups are created by the nerds in the FO using computer algorithms to run matchups, splits, etc. I think the role of the Manager has changed dramatically over the past couple years.

joesolo6181

Perhaps he teach the younger players what it takes to win.

Scam likely

Swaggerty will get dfa/ trade situation.

jaygray007

this is my 2nd most likely move

1) Tucupita
2) Suwi trade for something relatively interesting
3) Vilade

EDIT:

the more i think about it, the less i think theyll be dealing Swaggerty. While the pirates have many OF candidates, not many of them can play CF, let alone a good CF.

Swaggerty stays.

Tucu or Vilade.

or, as i was convinced of elsewhere, Andujar.

Last edited 11 days ago by jaygray007
jeffw3000

DFAing Swaggerty and keeping Vilade would make no sense. Swaggerty is both a better fielder, and better hitter. I also doubt Swaggerty would make it through waivers, as some still see him as a prospect with some value. Would love to see them deal Swaggerty, if we could get something for him.

Anthony

I wonder if Suwinski could net you one of those interesting Marlin’s pitchers 🤷🏻‍♂️

agent00

don’t worry, reynolds will do that

Anthony

🤔

6013DA0E-240F-4652-AD63-18E8D0E7F55B.jpeg
PirateRican21

I would love that deal, Cabrera’s 94 MPH change is one of the nastiest pitches I’ve seen. If you haven’t seen it search for it on YouTube!

Wilbur Miller

Marcano has too much value as Shelton’s infielder-who-can’t-hit-playing-outfield.

SBRO

The continuing interest in Vilade completely puzzles me. 80 wRC+ in a high offense environment vs Swaggerty 102 at sea level. About the only thing he has over Swaggs is he’s younger.

b mcferren

it will be Joe or Vilade

melkel

I’d call up the twins, they’re looking for a RH bat for the corners. Ask for O’Neil’s little brother for a return. Rafael I think. Then offer Reynolds, Brubaker, Gutierrez, and another 40 man player for Kirilloff, Lewis, Lee, Woods-Richardson, Prielipp, and their comp pick. I’m still dreaming. Plus the just traded Arraez for Lopez.

b mcferren

name is Homer

melkel

That’s his older brother, with the White Sox. I think his younger brother signed with the Twins. The younger being a corner infielder. Just not sure on his name. It might be another team but I’m almost positive it’s the Twins.

Last edited 11 days ago by melkel
PirateRican21

Maybe a reliever?

TNBucs

It should be one of these two or Andujar, with Andujar my choice as outlined below.

SBRO

MLB.com lists Cutch as DH – which is appropriate since he started over 60% of his games as DH. It’s just so weird to see that in print.

jaygray007

i’ll believe it when i see it.

Stapling cutch to DH has really big ripple effect.

Committing to cutch at dh guarantees that only one of Choi or Santana are ever in a game.

i’m sticking to my guns here that cutch starts the majority of his games in LF or RF.

skliesen

I agree.

jaygray007

Corresponding move thought process:

Not getting DFA’d: Bednar, brubaker, burrows, Roansy, Crowe, DeJong, Yerry, Jarlin, Hernandez, Hill, Holderman, Keller, Moreta, Ortiz, Oviedo, Selby, Stephenson, Underwood, Velasquez, Hedges, Endy, Bae, Castro, Choi, Cruz, Hayes, Peggy, Santana, Triolo, Joe, Cal M, Reynolds, Njigba, Suwi, Cutch

Kranick Yohan Andujar Marcano Swaggerty Vilade

Kranick probably staying cuz they can just 60 day IL him when the season starts

i think they like Yohan

I think theres too much of a role for andujar as a guy who can play multiple positions – although not terribly well

I really think Marcano is my pick

Swaggerty – with a trade already pretty much worked out – is possible. Dont see them giving him away for nothing

Vilade at least has a modicum of scouting raw power. He’s survived this long. i think they wanna see him thru.

TNBucs

I think it should be Andujar. Between Joe and Cutch, there doesn’t seem to be much of a role for Andujar in ’23, and then he’ll hit free agency after the ’24 season so we wouldn’t be losing much future potential by moving on. It also seems like the fairest thing to Andujar–maybe he can hook on with someone like Cincy.

jaygray007

You had it!!

Ding ding ding!!!
Nicely done

TNBucs

He should get picked up by someone and I hope he gets more playing time than he would have gotten here. And if he doesn’t get claimed, then he’d be a nice depth option in AAA.

1979andCounting

Nice call TN. Andular never impressed me, I saw a swing flaw that robbed his power, but they signed him to $1.525 M deal so thought they would keep him. But it’s only $825K over minimum, so they are willing to lose the $825 – $1.525M if he isn’t traded, picked up on waivers, or ends up going to Indy. That’s a change in them not prioritizing the dollar. If he isn’t traded, someone only has to pay $700K on waivers with BC covering the other $825K.

Nice to see the dollar isn’t guiding ALL of their decisions this offseason.

jaygray007

It’s a roster that’s really lacking versatility at the moment. I know he doesn’t play 3b, 1b, LF, or RF especially well, but i really think that will keep him on the roster.

heck, start hitting him some 2b grounders

for me, picking to keep him around really has nothing to do with the future, and everything to do with what i think they want on the roster right now.

That said, Joe *was* once a 3b so maybe he can still play there in a pinch, and yes, deem Andujar unnecessary

jaygray007

RE Marcano, i think teams seem to be shying more and more from the kevin newman singles-only type hitter. there’s just no ceiling there.

this is his final option year, meaning that starting next year, he must be on the 26 man.

i just dont see him adding enough body mass to be a good enough hitter over the course of one calendar year.

robertkasperski

Well he could but probably would end up suspended for his troubles. I do agree that it could easily be Tupu as he could possibly slide through and still stay in the mix as depth.

jeffw3000

I think should be Vilade, unless they have already worked out a trade for someone like Swaggerty.

jaygray007

suspension comment made me chuckle 🙂

we shall see!

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