Andrew McCutchen Has the Second Most Team Friendly Deal in Baseball

Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports took a look at the ten most team friendly deals in the game. With the season Andrew McCutchen is having this year, combined with his contract extension last off-season, it should be expected that he’d be on this list. Passan ended up rating him as the second most team friendly deal in baseball, falling only behind Evan Longoria, who surprisingly has only made $8.5 M in his first five years in the league.

Passan notes that over the last 50 years, only George Brett, Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, Todd Helton and Barry Bonds have finished a season with triple slash numbers better than McCutchen’s current .368/.429/.627 line. The Pirates have McCutchen under team control through the 2018 season. Assuming they pick up his $14.5 M option in 2018 (which is a safe assumption), McCutchen will be paid $63.25 M from 2013-2018, or $10.5 M a year on average.

Passan notes that if the Pirates would have waited until after this season to extend McCutchen, they could have been paying Matt Kemp prices. Kemp is making $21.2 M a year on his deal, which is a little more than double what McCutchen is making, for roughly the same production based on their numbers this season.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • john.alcorn

    Wait, so you’re saying extending Cutch was a good idea??? ;-)
    He was also ranked the 3rd most valuable trade chip in the game by fangraphs behind Trout and Harper.

  • Lee Young

    Maybe they should’ve signed Walker before the season, too? Hopefully they’ll get a deal done with him after the season! He is DEFINITELY an above avg 2ndbaseman, and I just love how he plays!!!

    • Tim Williams

      I don’t think there’s any point to extending Walker. He’s under team control through 2016 and will be 31 in his final season. If you extend him, you’re paying him for ages 32-33 and more.

      I think they’ve got plenty of time between now and then to find a replacement for him.

      • Lee Young

        Didn’t realize that, but now I remember you discussing that.

  • F Lang

    As a Pirate fan I thank Cutch for putting the greed aside. He won’t be worth 100’s of millions when he leaves the Pirates but he has the respect of some of the greatest fans in sports. He will be legendary in status like a Maz, Clemente, Bradshaw, Lambert, or Lemieux if he keeps doing what he is doing. 63 mil isn’t much if these numbers would continue but he is not going to hit .360 every year. I feel like he is Matt Kemp’s equal though and he is extremely marketable. Don’t worry Cutch, you will make plenty in endorsements also. I think the Walker deal will get done in the offseason. It would not make sense for him to be anywhere else and we have no secondbaseman even close to challenging him in the system.

    • Tim Williams

      McCutchen will be 31 in his final year. By comparison, that’s the same age as Albert Pujols when he hit free agency. So there would still be a chance for McCutchen to get a big payday through free agency.

      • Lee Young

        same age as Walker below….sign Cutch and not Walker? Neither? Both? Gonna be interesting in a few years…. Hopefully it’ll be after back to back to back to back divisional titles.:)

        • Tim Williams

          I could see McCutchen leaving, unless he wanted to take a big discount to stay in Pittsburgh. I could see him being worth $20+ M a year when he’s eligible for free agency, and I don’t think the Pirates will ever be able to afford that type of player.

          It might not be the worst thing if he left at that time. I think it’s likely the Pirates will develop some other outfielders between now and the end of the 2018 season. Plus, I’d rather not see them get tied up to a player who is going to be starting the downside of his career. That type of move usually doesn’t turn out well, especially not for small market teams.
          But a lot of time between now and then. By comparison, six years ago McCutchen was hitting for a .291/.356/.446 line in low-A, before making the aggressive jump to Double-A at the end of the year.

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