It became the informed speculation in the immediate wake of the Gerrit Cole trade to the Astros, and now the rumors are picking up.
The Pirates may be moving on to their next trade piece:
— Robert Murray (@RobertMurrayFRS) January 15, 2018
In the Giants’ quest to turn things around in a hurry after a disastrous 2017 season, McCutchen could go a long way to filling an enormous hole in the outfield. After adding Evan Longoria, the Giants would have a really nice 30-ish-year-old core to compete in 2018, though there would be huge questions about where they go from there.
The Giants are also looking to stay under the luxury tax cap if possible this year, and adding McCutchen for just one year and $14.5 million would go a long way to helping them get there while still improving the team.
As for the Pirates, trading McCutchen would be in line with our thinking about their approach: unload a few short-term pieces for very-near-big-league-ready pieces where possible, save a bunch of money in 2018, and then try to come back in 2019 after an aggressive offseason.
Although the Cubs’ main focus in 2018 will be winning the division, it wouldn’t hurt to have at least two clubs – the Reds and Pirates – taking a step back (or 20, in the Reds’ case) to improve the Cubs’ chances at a Wild Card, should that become necessary, thanks to the unbalanced schedule.
UPDATE: Here we go:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 15, 2018
Per source, Kyle Crick is part of the McCutchen trade.
— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) January 15, 2018
Just like with Evan Longoria, it’s going to be strange to see McCutchen in another uniform, but at least he’ll be on a team that is clearly trying to stay competitive, even in a brutal division. Good for the Giants. Good luck to them (relative to, say, the Dodgers, that is).