Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Insiders List Suitors for Andrew McCutchen

Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

With the off-season rumor mill gaining steam, the rumors surrounding Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen continue to swirl.  With recent reports coming out of the Nationals and Mariners having interest, there seems to be a consensus on some specific teams who also could show interest.

So far this off-season there has been a lot of speculation around Andrew McCutchen.  The speculations started when Ken Rosenthal, of Fox Sports, reported the Washington Nationals tried to acquire him. Rosenthal went on to say that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Nationals had a relatively serious discussion around McCutchen and Nationals prospect Victor Robles.  This confirmed the rumors that the Pittsburgh Pirates were willing to negotiate a deal around McCutchen.

Then, just this week, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported that the Seattle Mariners had called on the outfielder as well. A few weeks ago Rum Bunter had an article that talked about possible teams that could be interested in acquiring the Pittsburgh Pirates all-star center fielder.  After posting that list,  we have started looking into each specific team and how a deal could be made. So far the articles have looked at the Cleveland Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Rum Bunter put together an overall list of teams from around the league that could be a fit for the Pittsburgh Pirates center-fielder:

"Cleveland IndiansToronto Blue JaysLos Angeles DodgersNew York YankeesSeattle MarinersNew York MetsSan Francisco GiantsMore from Rum BunterPittsburgh Pirates Prospect Stockwatch: Outfielder Tres GonzalezPittsburgh Pirates Podcast: Rum Bunter Radio Talks Winter Meetings FalloutPittsburgh Pirates: Potential Leadoff Hitters in 2023Pittsburgh Pirates: The Rotation is not being ImprovedPittsburgh Pirates Make Vince Velasquez Signing Official"

Here is the link for the article that breaks down why the Pittsburgh Pirates could look to deal Andrew McCutchen, and for what they could be looking for.  As stated earlier, speculation has really started to ramp up.  Insiders have started to make their calls to their sources and find teams who could be interested in the star center fielder. First, Jon Morosi built upon his original report regarding the Mariners.  He added other teams that he understands could have interest in Andrew McCutchen

The list Jon Morosi put together is mainly looking at teams that need right-handed outfield bats.  Some of the teams are the same as the Rum Bunter article.  He also talked about how Cutch would have no real say in who he was traded to, and that the Pittsburgh Pirates could deal for the best deal possible.

"“McCutchen’s contract lacks no-trade protection, so he’s unable to directly influence his destination. The Dodgers, Giants, Rangers, Indians and Mets are among the possible suitors for him, because of their needs for right-handed outfield bats.”"

Also, Nick Cafardo, of the Boston Globe, put his take on the possible suitors out in an article.  Cafardo lists a few different teams, but also has some of the same teams that Morosi and Rum Bunter listed as well.  Cafardo talks about how Cutch’s growing contract and regressing performance has put himself on the trade block:

"“Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pirates — At one time, trading McCutchen would have been pure blasphemy, but a down year and a growing salary have made this plausible. The Pirates may want some major league-ready players in return. Possible destinations: Giants, Blue Jays, Indians, Cardinals, A’s, Phillies, Braves. “"

When looking at Cafardo’s list, many of the teams make sense.  However, a few do not.  First off, the A’s are coming off a last place finish in the AL West.  They also are an even smaller budget team than the Pittsburgh Pirates.  They would have no motivation to acquire the outfielder.  Then there is the Phillies. Although the Phillies have a strong farm system to trade from, they are at least one, maybe two, years away from truly competing.  At that point Andrew McCutchen would be a free agent.  Lastly, the Cardinals, who are one of the main contenders in the NL Central.  Need I say more?

Related Story: Thoughts on Cutch and Mariners Talk

When looking at the list all three list the Giants and the Indians.  Of the two teams, the Indians make the most sense to deal with.  Cleveland has excess pitching, as well as a relatively strong farm system to swing a deal. The same can be said for teams like the Dodgers and the Mets.  The Giants are a team to avoid, as they have one of the worst farm system in the league.  They also do not have many assets at the major league level that they would be willing to deal.  If there is one thing to take from these lists, it is that there are a lot of teams that could use Andrew McCutchen’s talents.

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Neal Huntington are probably receiving phone calls every day.  If talks advanced expect all of these teams to have at-least made a call on the Pittsburgh Pirates all-star.  He will, and most likely is, drawing strong interest. There is no doubt about it. If a deal does happen, it will be at the Winter Meetings during the first week of December.  There will be strong interest, now we will see if the Pittsburgh Pirates find a deal worth making.

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