With one victory in Miami this weekend, the Philadelphia Phillies will clinch the first winning season that the franchise has had since 2011. Make no mistake, though, now that the team has been eliminated from postseason contention for the 10th consecutive year, Dave Dombrowski figures to make changes in his first full offseason as president of baseball operations.
Andrew McCutchen is one Phillie with an uncertain future, to say the least. The five-time All-Star’s three-year/$50 million deal will expire at the end of the season, and the Phillies are all-but-certain to decline his $15 million club option for 2022 and instead pay him a $3 million buyout. That doesn’t mean that the two sides couldn’t reach a new deal for the 2022 season, but it’s entirely possible that this weekend will be McCutchen’s final as a Phillie.
After the Phillies were officially eliminated by the Atlanta Braves Thursday evening, McCutchen — who will turn 35 later this month — looked back on his three seasons in Philadelphia and talked about his future.
“With the seasons that I’ve had here … getting injured in the first season … the 60-game season after that … and then finally having a full season under my belt here in three years, I definitely felt that my performance personally wasn’t where I wanted it to be,” McCutchen said after Thursday’s loss. “Yeah, the power numbers are there or whatnot, I just felt like overall I could have been better than I have been the past few seasons. But sometimes, the game happens that way. You learn from it, you grow from it and you try to get better, wherever that may be. I would love to be back, but at the end of the day it’s not my decision. But, like I said, we’ve got three games left and I’m just trying to finish strong.”
McCutchen should get a major league deal from someone this winter. He’s slashed .292/.406/.609 with 14 home runs and 30 RBIs in 161 at-bats against left-handed pitchers.
That said, McCutchen may be more of a platoon player at this stage of his career, as he hit just .184 against right-handed pitching. His days regularly playing in the outfield may be over as well, as he has -13 defensive runs saved in left field over the last two years. It’s possible that the DH will come to the National League permanently in 2022, but the Phillies have an uncomfortable number of candidates to get at-bats at that spot, a reminder of how poor of a defensive team they’ve been in 2021.
The former National League MVP is estimated by Spotrac to have earned north of $101 million in his 13-year career, but he still hasn’t advanced beyond the NLDS and a chance to win a World Series figures to be at the forefront of McCutchen’s mind this winter.
- The Phillies lost the season series to the Braves, going 9-10 and just 2-7 in Atlanta. Since the Braves moved into Truist Park in 2017, the Phillies are just 14-26 in Atlanta.
- As we enter the final weekend of the season, Bryce Harper is slashing .305/.427/.607 with 34 home runs, 82 RBIs, 99 walks, a 1.034 OPS, -6 defensive runs saved and a 6.3 fWAR. Juan Soto is slashing .316/.467/.543 with 29 home runs, 94 RBIs, 140 walks, a 1.010 OPS, three defensive runs saved and a 6.6 fWAR. The National League MVP race could very well be decided by how the two play this weekend.
- The regular season is coming to a close but there are still a few more games you can bet on. You’ll be able to find upcoming MLB odds at Sports Betting Dime. Odds for the games will be updated in the morning before each match so keep an eye out.
- In September, the Phillies are 13-14. It might be a minor victory if they’re able to finish September with a winning record.
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