With the Pittsburgh Pirates tortuous 2017 season finally over, it’s time to revisit that old question: What are they going to do with Andrew McCutchen?
Trade rumors have been ongoing over the past couple of seasons. After a disappointing 2016 season, Cutch knew he had to deliver this year and he did – mostly.
I won’t say he came back with a vengeance, but at least he came back with something and earned back respect of Pirates fans.
With 28 homeruns and 88 RBIs this year, Cutch undoubtedly improved.
In fact, he was named National League player of the week for Sept. 25-Oct. 1 after hitting his first grand slam during last Tuesday’s game. It was as if he was saying he could still be beneficial to this team with the last chance he had before the off season.
But the Pirates management probably won’t be comfortable with his contract, which will pay him $14.75 million next year.
The amount they could save by getting rid of him before that pay date and he reaches free agency at the end of next season could be put to good use for the club, which is one to watch during this off-season.
Personally, I think they could save everyone’s time and just let him go.
I hate to say it because he seems like a great guy and someone you would want to have on your team, but let’s face it: he won’t be with the team after his contract is up at the end of 2018 – no matter what.
Now I’m no expert, and surely it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s unlikely the Pirates will improve so much over the off-season to be playoff contenders next year.
It’s not totally the player’s fault in situations like these, it’s simply poor management.
After the puzzling release of Juan Nicasio this past season for absolutely nothing, the morale of the team went downhill. Transactions like this leave players wondering about their place in the organization.
Keeping McCutchen would show that they realized their past mistakes and are ready to make a change. The more likely option of trading him would show they are simply worried about money, not winning the World Series.
What do you think will happen to McCutchen over the winter?