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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