Pittsburgh Pirates: Mets Unlikely to Acquire Harrison or McCutchen


Over the last month, many rumors have come out regarding the Pittsburgh Pirates. The most recent rumors connect the Bucs and the New York Mets.

At the beginning of the offseason, it was reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates were listening to offers, and even somewhat motivated to deal Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen.  Harrison is coming off a rebound season and is due a modest salary of $10.5 million next season. Also, Harrison has options for the next two seasons. Meanwhile, McCutchen is coming off a really improved season compared to 2016.  He is due to make $14.75 million in his final year of team control.

Reports suggest that both players have been discussed by multiple teams.  McCutchen has gained the most interest from the San Fransisco Giants.  Also, there has been speculation that the Dodgers have interest in the former all-star.  Meanwhile, Josh Harrison has gained even more interest.  At one point it was reported that Harrison is the most likely Pittsburgh Pirates player to be dealt this offseason.  Teams like the Blue Jays, Yankees, and the Rockies (albeit these rumors have been all but denied) have had interest.

New York Mets

However, the New York Mets have shown interest in both players. The Mets specifically showed interest in Josh Harrison at the Winter Meetings.  Obviously, a deal did not get done.  Still, at this point, the Mets are without a starting second baseman, so a deal still seems plausible.  Furthermore, the Toronto Blue Jays acquired a utility infielder in Yangervis Solarte.  So that is one less team that would have interest in Harrison at this point.

The interest in Andrew McCutchen is more recent.  It was reported by Ken Rosenthal just a few days ago that the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets discussed the former MVP.  Rosenthal plays it off as more of the Mets just checking in on the asking price for Cutch.  He also states that no deal is imminent.  The Mets are looking for a more true center fielder, even though Cutch doesn’t statistically look good there anymore.

With all this being said, Mike Puma of the New York Post does not see a deal between the two sides coming together for either player.  He notes that Harrison is their top second base trade target after they missed out on Ian Kinsler.  Also, he writes that the Mets pursued Andrew McCutchen last off-season as well.  So what is holding up a deal?  Puma states that the main issues is the Mets farm system:

"“But a source Friday indicated any such deal remains unlikely as a depleted farm system — at least in terms of near major league-ready talent — continues to hinder the Mets’ chances of making a significant trade.”"

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It seems that the Pittsburgh Pirates want major league ready talent to help expedite their “retooling” period.  This is evident by the reported names that were discussed in the Yankees/Gerrit Cole talks.  The Mets top prospects are David Peterson, Justin Dunn, and Andres Gimenez.  All three most likely will not be MLB ready until 2020.  Still, if the Pittsburg Pirates are motivated enough to give Adam Frazier the second base job, and to get something for Harrison, a deal could come to fruition.