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Phillies sign Andrew McCutchen to a three-year, $50 million deal



Andrew McCutchen is returning to the Keystone state in 2019 (Ian D’Andrea)

The Phillies have signed an outfielder, but not the one they’ve been connected to for months.

Per The Athletic‘s Matt Gelb, the Phillies have signed Andrew McCutchen to a three-year deal, pending a physical. Fancred‘s Jon Heyman reported the deal was worth $50 million. Heyman also added there is a club option in the deal.

McCutchen is well-familiar with Pennslyvania, having played with the cross-state rival Pittsburgh Pirates for nine seasons. From 2011 to 2015, McCutchen was an incredible five-tool player, making five consecutive All-Star games. In that span five-year span, McCutchen hit 123 home runs with 448 RBIs, 99 stolen bases and had a .302 batting average. For his career, McCutchen has an average of .287, 223 home runs, 790 RBIs, and a bWAR of 42.0.

McCutchen was able to top that run off by winning the 2013 National League MVP award. In addition to MVP, McCutchen has also won a Gold Glove Award and is a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner.

Since 2015, McCutchen’s performance has dropped off substantially. The highest batting average he has had since then was .279 in 2017. In 2018, playing with the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees, McCutchen hit .255 with 20 home runs and 65 RBIs, with a bWAR of just 0.8, the second lowest of his career.

While no one would expect McCutchen, 32, to instantly revert back to his MVP form, he can still provide the Phillies with some solid production, both with the bat and the glove. The $50 million deal is not far off at all from MLB Trade Rumors prediction for McCutchen, which was three-years, $45 million.

While McCutchen has typically played center field for the majority of his career, he spent most of his time playing right field in 2018 (as well as 12 games in left field). That gives the Phillies some options for their 2019 defensive set up.

Per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the McCutchen deal does not exclude the Phillies from signing another outfielder, such as Bryce Harper. However, if they were to sign another outfielder in free agency, it would likely mean a trade of one of their current outfielders (whether it be Aaron Altherr, Nick Williams, Odubel Herrera, or Roman Quinn).

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Wes

    December 11, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Correction, his 2018 bWAR was 0.8 just in his short time with the Yankees. Cutch had a 2.0 bWAR in SF in 2018.

  2. Wes

    December 11, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Cutch had a 0.8 bWAR just with the Yankees. With SF his bWAR was 2.0. Small but important correction.

  3. Craig Glessner

    December 11, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Wow that’s awesome he’s not better than Odubel or Williams. He’s this year’s Carlos Santana. He was good 5 years ago all I can say is Klentak may need drug tested.

  4. tom g

    December 11, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    wow, we are replacing good players with more expensive, older one’s…really…this is the plan?!
    stupid is…stupid does

  5. William

    December 11, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Please Jesus , signing an aging32 Yr Old has been , that hit 255 last Year!
    What in God’s Name are these People thinking , first an aging has in Arrieta for 25 million , Now this .

  6. Lou Possehl

    December 12, 2018 at 3:01 am

    Below is an agglomeration of comments I found elsewhere (I have no mind of my own):

    With Jean Segura and Andrew McCutcheon, Klentak got Hoskins back to 1B where he belongs, and moved Williams out of RF. In just two moves, he made this defense close to league average. If we land Machado, it could be above-average to top 10. Not to mention with McCutcheon, Phillies maintain an OBP player they lost with Santana, and added a good hitter-for-average in Segura, with the potential for another in Machado.

    McCutchen isn’t the all-star he once was, but he’s still a well-regarded pro: a solid player who immediately upgrades our outfield. His stats over the last two seasons (1332 PAs) – .267/.366/.455 (.820 OPS) with 48 HRs and 25 SBs; 121 wRC+
    Citizens Bank was the No. 2 home run park for right-handed hitters from 2014-18. Outside of staying in Yankee Stadium, Citizens Bank Park is probably the next-best landing spot for a player with McCutcheon’s skill set. A return to 30 homers is no longer out of the question.

    WAR comparison:
    Hoskins 0.5
    Quinn 0.3
    Herrera 0.2
    Williams, Altherr about -1

    McCutcheon – lifetime 2-4 WAR range; projected for 2019: 2.6. Adding McCutcheon did not meaningfully ding the massive Phillies war chest, and an outfield of Quinn, McCutcheon and PTBN is way better than anything we had over 162 games in 2018 – even if “PTBN” is Herrera or someone else not named Bryce.

    Signing McCutcheon is a good move, and sets the table for more. STOP WHINING.

    • schmenkman

      December 12, 2018 at 11:03 am

      Well said, Lou.

  7. Craig Glessner

    December 12, 2018 at 7:23 am

    The point is that is $50 million that could have been better allocated. Probably could have got Pollock for around $60 if pursuing outfielders not named Harper. That $ could be used on Haap, Britton , Kimbrel. For that matter it could have been used for a long term deal with Nola. If there is one player I want to see getting a long term deal it’s the ace of the staff. They said they were spending stupid well the McCutchen signing is retarded. This is put up or get out off season for Klentak and Segura was a great trade but this is a horrible signing.

  8. Betasigmadeltashag

    December 12, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Again a clueless move. Taking playing time away from the young players that need at bats and playing time. It makes 0 sense to sign a 32 year old to a 3 year contract on this rooster. He is not an everyday player at this point. And 17 million is way to much to pay a guy who should only play once or twice a week and PH. I’d rather have a guy at 23/24 hit 250 then a 32 year old has been. It is just another contract they will try to add onto a trade next off season
    Why not have faith that if you let your home grown talent play in their comfortable position consistently and become better players.

    • schmenkman

      December 12, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      I don’t know where you get the idea he’s no longer an every day player.

      He’s still a very solid major league starter. He’s either the Phillies’ best, or second best outfielder (depending on which version of Odubel shows up next year).

      Young players need more than playing time to get good. They also need talent. Williams will be the one most impacted, and he’s shown so far that he’s a 4th outfielder. He’s nowhere near as good as McCutchen yet. And when the goal is to compete in 2019, they need someone they can rely on.

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