Through the reporting of Roch Kubatko of MASN and Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports, it appears that the Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles were close to agreeing on a trade for outfielder Adam Jones, but the five-time All-Star ultimately was unwilling to leave the place he’s spent nearly his entire career playing. It didn’t appear to be anything personal about Philadelphia, but rather the 32-year-old wanted to remain in Baltimore. Still, it’s evident that the Phillies want to make an upgrade in the outfield, which leaves them to look in other directions with less than 24 hours until the non-waiver trade deadline.
A similar option to Jones is former National League MVP Andrew McCutchen, currently playing for the San Francisco Giants. MLB.com‘s Jon Morosi appeared on MLB Central Monday and had some interesting things to say about the five-time All-Star:
“The Giants are willing now to entertain some offers for at least some of their veterans players, namely Andrew McCutchen. I was told this morning that there’s some activity on McCutchen. The Cleveland Indians, they have been linked to him – actually at different times in recent years – and maybe if Adam Jones is not going anywhere, McCutchen could be a good fit for the Indians to play maybe even some center or some right.”
After getting sidetracked to talk about other Giants trade possibilities, Morosi circled back to McCutchen, who he says is a possibility for the Phillies as well:
“Of all those possibilities [of Giants veterans who could be traded], McCutchen is the strongest chance. And again, we saw Jon Heyman’s reporting recently about Adam Jones potentially rejecting that trade to the Phillies, that’s one more possibility for McCutchen. So again, Phillies or Indians for Andrew, two possibilities here in the final days of the trade deadline.”
To be fair, it’s not entirely clear here if Morosi is reporting that the Phillies are indeed showing interest in McCutchen or simply saying that it’s a logical pivot after failing to land Jones. In either case, it’s evident that the Phillies are interested in adding a rental outfielder, and McCutchen could be just that.
The 31-year-old is currently slashing .253/.348/.405 with 10 home runs, 43 RBIs, 53 walks and a 2.0 offensive WAR for the San Francisco Giants. Mind you, that offensive production has come while playing in the beautiful, but certainly not hitter-friendly AT&T Park. Hitting at Citizens Bank Park is certainly preferable to AT&T Park.
Unlike Jones, McCutchen, a long-time center fielder, has already made a transition to right field after his defensive metrics declined in center. He’s not a standout fielder in right, although neither is Nick Williams and adding McCutchen’s bat to the lineup and making Williams a pinch-hitter would seem to make the Phillies an altogether better team. And again, as gorgeous as AT&T Park is, it’s not an ideal place to play right or center field at.
At 53-54, the Giants are just six-and-a-half games back of the National League West leading Los Angeles Dodgers. Although in a crowded division, that puts them in fourth place. They’re also six games out of the second National League Wild Card spot, putting them in a similar position to teams like the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals, who aren’t entirely out of things, but probably won’t make the playoffs. If the team ultimately moves McCutchen, he would seem to fit on the Phillies.
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