Well, there’s a major free agent signing, and it’s not entirely a thrilling one.
Source: Andrew McCutchen has a three-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Not the five he originally was shooting for but still a good fit, as he moves cross-state from his longtime home in Pittsburgh.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 11, 2018
The Andrew McCutchen deal is for three years — plus a club option — and $50 million, according to sources.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) December 11, 2018
Andrew McCutchen’s deal with the Phillies is more or less in line with expectations, and was probably more than the Cubs were willing to spend on a veteran leader (who is also a very capable bat, just saying, sigh). Earlier this offseason, when it first became evident that the Phillies, not the Cubs, would be the primary suitors for Bryce Harper, McCutchen emerged for us around here as something of a back-up option for the Cubs. In our minds, anyway.
The Cubs were not rumored to be in on McCutchen, necessarily, though. So whatever their market for potential offensive contributions, they didn’t lose out today.
McCutchen will improve the Phillies’ outfield situation in the hyper-competitive NL East, regardless of what happens with Harper, about which:
Both @MattGelb and I are hearing same from multiple sources. Told addition of McCutchen would NOT preclude #Phillies from signing another outfielder, whether it’s Harper or someone else. https://t.co/ToylyfCwL7
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2018
By getting McCutchen in the fold now, the Phillies can still pursue Harper, but from a slightly improved position of comfort. That said, it probably does make them at least slightly less “stupid” about spending crazy over-the-top to land Harper, who may be lukewarm on the city of Philadelphia anyway, according to some reports. Don’t worry, I’m not going to spin this as somehow good news for the Cubs. I’m just sayin’.
Also, I still tend to think the Dodgers are the real looming threat on Harper, so even this doesn’t get me all jazzed:
Sounds like this means Bryce Harper out in #phillies plans. I’ve been told they will not wait and big free agents . They will not play games with their agents. They will move on. That would go for Machado as well. @SportsRadioWIP https://t.co/jD58VJQT7X
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) December 11, 2018
Michael Cerami contributed to this post.