Major League Baseball’s Hot Stove action really could intensify this winter if the latest report surrounding Pittsburgh Pirates superstar outfielder Andrew McCutchen is true.
“Now there is a growing sense among industry insiders that the team will try to deal McCutchen before he reaches free agency in either one or two years,” Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote Saturday. “General manager Neal Huntington likely will quietly shop the five-time All-Star during the offseason, if only to gauge the level of interest.”
McCutchen won the National League MVP award in 2013, and his trophy case also includes a Gold Glove and four Silver Slugger awards.
That said, the 29-year-old hasn’t performed at an elite level this season. He’s batting just .255 with 24 home runs and 77 RBI in 152 games. His batting average and on-base percentage have dropped about 40 and 70 points, respectively, compared to his 2015 numbers.
McCutchen is one of the most popular players in Pirates history, and trading him while he’s still in his prime certainly would affect the team’s future on-field and off-field success.
The Pirates won’t be in the 2016 MLB postseason, but they still have a good-enough team to contend for a playoff spot over the next few years. Trading a player of McCutchen’s caliber for prospects would be a step back for Pittsburgh in that regard.
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