Pittsburgh Pirates: Attempting to Construct a Realistic Off-Season

What would a realistic looking off-season for the Pirates look like?
Sep 27, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Wade Miley (20) delivers
Sep 27, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Wade Miley (20) delivers / Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
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Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen returned on a one-year, $5 million deal, taking a pay cut and giving the Pirates a hometown discount so he could play another year in Pittsburgh. But McCutchen isn’t done yet. Some injuries slowed him down in the second half of the season, but there’s nothing to suggest McCutchen’s tank is empty yet.

In McCutchen’s return to Pittsburgh, he hit .256/.378/.397 with a .345 wOBA and 115 wRC+. His 15.9% walk rate is now the best of his career, but he also had a respectable 21.1% strikeout rate. Cutch did not hit for much power as he hit 12 home runs and had a .141 isolated slugging percentage. But some of that could be chalked up to an elbow injury that hampered him.

Up through late June, Cutch had a much better-looking .168 isolated slugging percentage, which was slightly above the league average. But he managed a sub-.100 ISO from the start of July through the end of the season. Cutch was placed on the IL once at the start of July but again in early September after suffering a partial achilles tear in his left leg.

The only thing that I would be concerned about is that this was the second major left leg injury Cutch has suffered in the last five years. The former MVP tore his ACL in 2019 with the Phillies, which also occurred in his left leg. 2024 will be his age-37 campaign, and while you have to wonder how well his leg will hold up, Cutch seems ready to get back on the horse for at least one more year.

I estimate that McCutchen will sign the exact same contract he did last off-season. That is a one-year, $5 million deal. Both sides want another year together, and I don’t see Cutch asking for more than he made last season.

Total Spent: $5 million