The Pittsburgh Pirates reportedly agreed to a deal with a veteran outfielder to a 1-year deal on Friday morning. It was not just any outfielder either.
Sometimes things in sports play out like a film on the big screen. This could be said for the Pittsburgh Pirates today. The "Lord of the Rings" series 3rd installment is titled "The Return of the King". The title represents one of the main protagonists, his return to the city he was from, and his claim to the throne. He had a really impactful life but when it was time to return and take the crown and lead his city he did.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have something like this playing out as well. This morning the team agreed to a contract with outfielder Andrew McCutchen. Yes, the iconic outfielder from the only iconic years of the last 3 decades. The King has returned to the city of Black and Gold.
Andrew McCutchen represents a few different things to the Pittsburgh Pirates Franchise. First and foremost that the current Front Office prioritized adding legitimate veteran leadership. Who better to add than the former leader of the Pittsburgh Pirates? Cutch will bring natural veteran leadership. However, he also will be there to lead by example of what it means to be a winning baseball player in the city of Pittsburgh.
The team is actually adding to the roster and not just being cute. Over the last few years, we have seen the Pittsburgh Pirates really go dumpster diving to fill out their roster. Players like Ka'ai Tom, Anthony Alford, and Dustin Fowler to name a few. This offseason they went and signed established veteran players, and McCutchen is just another example of that.
Trades will be on the horizon. This Pittsburgh Pirates roster crunch has been there all off-season. They have had to make several moves to open up space on the 40-man in order to add these players. They will need to do this for Andrew McCutchen. Does the signing of McCutchen signify a potential Bryan Reynolds trade on the horizon?
It would be ironic, after all, Cutch was originally traded to the Giants in exchange for Reynolds and Kyle Crick. While Cutch is not an everyday outfielder, he is another player who will still get innings in the grass. The team has also added outfielders Connor Joe, to go along with Jack Suwinski, Ji-Hwan Bae, and Cal Mitchell. Not to mention the team has players like Miguel Andujar and to a lesser-extent Ji-man Choi who have corner outfield experience.
Those are a lot of players who can be involved in the outfield. It will be interesting to see the initial roster move for Cutch. There are a few options for players to be designated for assignment or they could go the trade route. Either way it is great to see them add Andrew McCutchen back to the Franchise that he once revitalized.