Williams: Does Andrew McCutchen Have Any Value Remaining?

Andrew McCutchen was struggling for the first four months of the 2016 season. The Pirates decided to finally bench him at the start of August, sitting him down for three games. Prior to the benching, he was hitting for a .241/.311/.408 line. After he returned, he looked like Andrew McCutchen again, hitting for a .284/.381/.471 line in the final two months of the year.

McCutchen is off to another bad start this year, and this time it’s worse than the 2016 start. He has a .203/.274/.360 line in 190 plate appearances. The Pirates have decided to bench him earlier this year, sitting him down in the last two games, once in favor of Danny Ortiz.

It’s impossible to say whether the benching last year led to McCutchen putting up better numbers down the stretch, or whether the same type of benching will do the same thing for him this year. But the Pirates need to hope they see a repeat of last year’s 180-style turnaround after McCutchen returns from his current break.

In the short-term, the Pirates need the old McCutchen back if they want any chance at competing this year. They lost their top two performers from 2016 when Jung Ho Kang couldn’t get a visa and when Starling Marte was suspended for PEDs. Most of their other players have been struggling this year, and most of the top performers have gone down with injuries. Getting McCutchen back on track would be a big boost for the 2017 Pirates.

But this whole situation makes you think about the long-term, specifically with the question of whether the Pirates will now be able to get any kind of value at all for McCutchen.

The entire offseason was surrounded by McCutchen trade rumors. The attempt to trade McCutchen made total business sense for the Pirates, as it could have allowed them to cash in on a big name player, get a nice return for their future, and eventually replace him with Austin Meadows. The rumors said they were close to a deal with the Nationals on Tuesday night of the winter meetings, but Washington ended up trading for Adam Eaton of the White Sox. That essentially ended the McCutchen talks over the offseason.

That near-deal may have been the last chance for the Pirates to get value for McCutchen. I wrote a primer over the offseason looking at everything surrounding a potential McCutchen trade, including the idea of “selling low” on him. From the article:

The focus on the down year ignores the value of the extra year of control. Let’s assume that a lowered value for McCutchen is equal to 4.0 WAR per year. That’s more than he had last year, but less than he had in the previous five years. And realistically, McCutchen isn’t going to fall below that due to one down year, all because of his name value. If a down year equaled 4.0 WAR per year, then McCutchen would have a trade value of $35.9 M.

Let’s say that McCutchen bounces back for the Pirates in 2017, and they trade him next off-season at a value of 6.0 WAR. While he would have more value, the trade value would remain about the same. His trade value for one year in 2018, at 6.0 WAR, would be $33.7 M. So the return would be about the same.

You could argue that they’d get more value on that side by getting his production for the 2017 season. If he returns to being a 6.0 WAR player, then they would be getting about $34 M in value from him for his production in 2017.

The flip side to this is wondering what happens if he has another bad year. I don’t want to project him at another replacement level year, but let’s say he drops down to a 3.0 WAR in 2017. With two down years in a row, you’re less likely to get a favorable return for him next off-season. At that point, a 3.0 WAR trade value would be $9.7 M, which is barely enough for a prospect just inside the top 100. You’d get $10 M in value in 2017, but overall, you’d see a loss, and an even bigger loss in the long-term when you factor in the decline in future value from the prospects.

The sad thing right now is that a 3.0 WAR in 2017 and a trade return of a guy just inside the top 100 prospects at the end of the year sounds like a dream. I didn’t want to project McCutchen for replacement level for the second straight year, but that’s what he has been so far. He currently has a -0.1 fWAR, and while that can change from now until the end of the season, it is becoming obvious that McCutchen isn’t the old Andrew McCutchen anymore.

McCutchen’s stats are in a decline almost across the board. His strikeout rate has risen every year since 2013, going from 15% to 21.2% last year. He’s seen a bit of a drop this year, but is still at 18.4%.

His walk rate has consistently been in the double digits, but dropped to 10.2% last year and is down to 8.9% this year.

His power is in a steady decline. He had a .226 ISO in 2012, dropped to .190 in 2013, and went back to .228 in 2014. From there he dropped to .196, .174, and is at .157 this year.

His hard contact has gone from the 40% range in 2013-14 to 31.2% this year, after dropping to 35.8% last year.

His BABIP was in the .350 range around 2013-14. It has since dropped to .339 in 2015, .297 last year, and .220 this year. This year’s number may be low, and a bit of poor luck. However, I think the overall decline has to do with his speed.

You can see the drop in speed when looking at the stolen bases. He used to be a guy who would attempt 30+ steals a year, and steal 20+ bags per year. In 2014 he went 18-for-21. He went 11-for-16 the following year, seeing the attempts and efficiency go down. He was 6-for-13 last year, bottoming out. This year he is 5-for-6, which is encouraging, but he’s still not showing the speed he had when he entered the league.

McCutchen didn’t like that the Pirates put Starling Marte in center field and moved him to right field this year. He proclaimed that center field was his spot after returning to the position. But the Pirates were right to make the move, as his defense has been on a steady decline the past few years, bottoming out last year when he was the worst center fielder in the game. He currently has a -1.5 UZR/150 and a -6 DRS this year since moving back to the spot.

There might be some signs of hope for McCutchen. His stolen bases, defense, and strikeouts aren’t as bad as last year. His BABIP should improve going forward. But these signs of hope come with the disclaimer that the 2016 season was a low bar for McCutchen.

McCutchen isn’t showing any signs that he’s the Andrew McCutchen of old. Any hope that the 2016 season was just a fluke, and that he would return to being a 6+ WAR player per season are now gone. The hope now is that he hasn’t just completely bottomed out to become a replacement level player.

The Pirates tried unloading McCutchen before this could happen. It didn’t work, and now they might have some tough decisions to make in the future.

That has started by benching him for a few games, and the hope is that he returns and responds the same way he did after being benched last year.

But if McCutchen doesn’t bounce back, the Pirates might get in a situation where they’re just looking for any kind of return based on his name value, or a swap of similar contracts, looking for a bounce back player in a similar situation.

And if none of that happens, I think we’ve started to enter the area of discussion where it could be possible for the Pirates to just decline McCutchen’s $14 M option next year and take the $1 M buyout, which is a suggestion that would have been unfathomable just two years ago.

What makes this even more difficult is that this situation is a PR nightmare for the Pirates. McCutchen was the franchise player, which creates a weird fan dynamic. He was being booed at PNC Park during the 2016 season, despite all previous production. Many of those same fans were then booing the Pirates over the offseason for trying to trade him away. Now, the Pirates will be seen as missing an opportunity to deal him before it was too late, and when they eventually do part ways with him, it will be seen as a bad move, just because it means the end of the line for a fan favorite who was one of the best performers in franchise history.

This was always a no-win situation for the Pirates. The hope they had in the past was that they could salvage the situation with a good trade return, making you forget about McCutchen by pointing to what they got for him, and pointing to his replacement in Austin Meadows. They can still point to Meadows, but it’s looking unlikely that they’ll have a nice return, or any return at all, to ease the pain of eventually parting with McCutchen.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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LukenCool

It is difficult to imagine somebody with this much talent and production, having such a significant drop-off at age 30, but it happens. In order to prop up his value, let’s hope NH and the Bucs have invested in A) An Optometrist; and 2) A Sporty Psychologist; and D) I forget
We all get rusty as we age.

RobForsyth

Even though you’re a very good writer and researcher I still had trouble forcing myself to read the whole thing. It has just been so heart breaking to read about McCutchen’s fall with no real comprehension of how or why it’s happening. A young guy in the locker room where I work out asked me yesterday if maybe the problem was he parties too much, but there’s never been any hint that was part of the equation. It’s just mystifying, but the good Lord gives, and takes away.

Blaine Huff

I, wholeheartedly, agree with the article.

Two things that went undiscussed…

The decline appears to have started in September of 2015.

Yes, fans are fickle about Cutch…they boo and they love him…what’s really scary about declining his option though is if he returns to form in 2018 but with another club. The Pirates aren’t the type of team that can afford to keep around a $14M non-producer…but is management willing to endure the fan reaction if he’s putting solid numbers with another team in ’18?

Thomas H

Management isn’t going to care one bit about fan reaction to anything. Just saying.

piraddict

By comparison with Cutch Keon Broxton is looking pretty good right now.

Blaine Huff

I was looking at his numbers earlier today…I always like him (and you should take a look at what Supak is doing) and hated that trade…but there’s no way he outruns that strikeout tendency for much longer.

piraddict

Yes, the trade was made because Kang was injured and Freese hadn’t been signed yet. There was a potential huge hole that NH needed to fill. Signing Freese obviated the need for the trade, but hindsight is always perfect. Broxton’s ceiling with the Bucs was as a 4th OF for a few years. But that is exactly what we need right now.

chethejet

Cutch has little value. The best for him is a clean break this off season and see what he can salvage at that point. At 30, he passed a physical with the Pirates so that I guess is something. Meadows, will be here one way or another and will be the hope of the future. But Polanco, Bell, now Frazier, Marte is he grasps what his potential is, the young arms both in the starting a bull pen is something that is a great start to winning again.

turks44

he really is messed up at the plate, he should try driving the ball to right and maybe a lighter bat. Also this might tell the pirates that some players can’t deal with change and maybe back off on some of their Analytics.

Joe P

Breaking news . pirates trade Andrew Mcutchen, max moroff and Elias Diaz for Drew Hutchinson and cash considerations. “This trade was all about acquiring a quality major league pitcher,” Neal Hutington said and had nothing to do with finances. We do intend to use the money saved to acquire quality players from the Philippines.

Scott Kliesen

This is an idiotic post for one simple reason…Cutch contract isn’t guaranteed next season.

Furthermore, McGuire and Ramirez wish they had Diaz and Moroff future.

Wabbit_Season

The words “Cutch” and “No-win situation” in the same sentence?

I have to think Tim’s assessment of a loss of premium speed had to be the source of the problem. I also think Cutch still has enough talent left to make an adjustment and still be a very productive member of this team. He just has to decide to do it.

If he just took an Adam Frazier approach in the batter’s box, he’d be fine.

He’s still trying to regain his MVP swagger and he’s a proud man and he simply can’t back it up.

You can’t tell me the man doesn’t have a lot of baseball left in him. He just has to decide what kind of baseball he’s going to be best at.

-Wabbit

leefoo

Wabbit

You can’t tell me the man doesn’t have a lot of baseball left in him.

The man doesn’t have a lot of baseball left in him. 🙂

Cecil.

One word answer to the headline: NO. (Unfortunately for both him and the Pirates.)

joe s

Maybe like Sampson he lost his power/ability when he cut his hair. So very sad to see him lose the ability to play so quickly. Have to wonder if he was using PEDS. Hope not. Always liked and rooted for him. Hope he can return to the player he was.

leefoo

Lineup out………..Cutch is batting 6th!

billy921

That had to be done. He was killing the bucs with lob.

jason f (exo)

I’m actually optimistic about the way he sounded on the radio when asked about it. He’s been acting strangely imo when confronted about his declining performance but he sounded almost enthusiastic about the move (possibly because he was on the bench for 2 games and he learned how much he hated that)

Edward C

Wow. The right move but hard to watch.

leefoo

It was hard to watch Aaron, Mays, etc once they lost their star ability. Cutch, for whatever reason, appears to have lost it a lot sooner.

Edward C

I am old enough to remember Mays in his decline and yes it was sad. I think the early age and sudden decline of Cutch makes in worse for me.

rickmontgomery

I wonder if the way the team handled Cutch in the off-season isn’t a part of why he continues to struggle. He has a bad season and suddenly (justified or not) the trade rumors swirl and he gets the boot from CF. He has said on numerous occasions that he wanted to be a Pirate for his entire career. The team seemed, on the other hand, to be all about the business end of his tenure. If I’m Cutch, I’m discouraged, not just by my poor performance, but also by the response of the team to my struggles. I believe out of respect to Cutch and what he has meant to this team, he needs a fresh start somewhere else. I’d ask him where he wants to play and then I’d trade him there for whatever return I could get, however minuscule.

wvpirate

I have been a Pirates fan for a long time. And during that time, I have never seen a star player for the Pirates struggle so badly so quickly. Even Clemente and Stargell hit as they went into their late 30’s. I feel for Cutch because I am a fan of his. He was the man who helped make this team great when they won 98 games. I hope Cutch snaps out of this again. But the hopes that he will be here next year is not good. Maybe sitting a couple days will help. I hope so. The Pirates need him to be Cutch again.

TonyV

Clemente didnt struggle in his 30s. His worst season as he aged was 291 BA in 1968. Stargell’s playing time reduced greatly, but in 1980 he still hit 262 with 11 HR. The next 2 years he had less than 100 AB each season. He was around as a leader, not a player and embraced his role, not puting like Cuthc.

KennethBaldonieri

You’re right about that. Clemente had 6.5 war season in 1971 at age 37! He hit .341 that year with a 148 wRC+. His worst season after he became established in 1960 was in 1962 when he was worth “only” 3.6 war.

EddieSpaghetti

The only comp for Cutch that I can think of that offers any kind of glimmer of hope is Eric Davis. He saw his OPS drop 200 points after he turned 29 and struggled with injuries – even missing an entire season. Five years later, after moving from CF to RF/DH he returned to 3 seasons of ~900 OPS and hit for more power (slugging around 500).
I could see Cutch reworking his swing and body to be more of an extra base hitter and seeing his production benefit from it, especially if he has the off season to work on it. If he landed on an AL team with a small park I could see him maybe winning Comeback Player of the Year or something…

TonyV

Andrew Jones as well.

Scott K

Why’d you have to bring up Eric the Red?!!! Now I have to relive that time he threw out Bonilla at 3rd in the ’90 NLCS!

DanielF

If I was a rival GM no way would I give up anything for him.

leefoo

nor should you.

At least, if he was a Gold Glove fielder, we could get something for him. But that ship sailed long ago.

JAL

Reminds me of baseball saying that is better to trade a player one year too early than one year too late.

Bobby L

I would imagine the haul the Bucs got in return would have been quite significant.
You are absolutely right about it becoming chaos.

leefoo

JAL….and some of us were advocating moving Cutch in the offseason, weren’t we?

Perhaps the worst thing Cutch did (for us, at least) was have a really good Aug/Sept. It is looking like that was an illusion?

Bobby L

Imagine how things would be if he had been extended, as some were calling for.
But there is still time for a rebound, so not all hope is lost.

beaverjp

I don’t think we’re talking about hope or optimism as much as timing. My feeling is that he can make changes to rebound but based on words and actions he hasn’t put it in motion or committed to fundamental changes to batting and fielding. IMO his adjustments are most likely elsewhere unless you think he’ll restructure his contract after his option gets declined.

Jeff Rhodes

Sad but true. Even a diminished Andrew McCutchen is a better athlete than what 90 percent of the league gets by on. The question is what it will take to make him change. One would think his ongoing fall from grace would get his attention, but I’m not seeing it. I’m seeing a guy who thinks he’s just in a little slump and doesn’t need to adjust anything.

leefoo

There IS time, not sure about hope. 🙂 🙂

As always, I hope I am wrong. But too many metrics have been trending in the wrong way for a while now.

Ben S

I can’t imagine a winning scenario for anyone, anytime, or anywhere, when an MVP caliber player turns into late-career Al Martin overnight.

KennethBaldonieri

538 did an interesting article regarding Cutch last year. The closest comps for players who had averaged at least 5 war per season up to age 29 and then had a terrible year that year were Fred Lynn, Dave Parker and Edgar Martinez. Lynn and Martinez rebounded nicely, but Parker was basically done at 30. Mostly due to drugs, I think. In other words, what’s happened to Cutch is basically unprecedented.

leefoo

Andruw Jones had a similar precipitous fall.

KennethBaldonieri

Jones had wRC+ of 121 and 132 at ages 33 and 34, respectively. If cutch could rebound like that, it would have to be a win for him. You’re right though, Jones lost a ton of value in a hurry, but a lot of it was defensive.

leefoo

The rumored deal was Gio Gonzalez, Giolito and another piece. In hindsight, even tho Giolito has been a disappointment, that would’ve been a great deal?

beaverjp

It looks like Gio is going to rack up enough innings to vest $10m+ next year

leefoo

Gio has a 2.90 ERA but a 4.98 FIP. Weird. But, he might’ve had more value at the trade deadline than Cutch?

And, I just saw that Giolito threw a no hitter.

Ken

Yes, his no-hitter – where he only had 3 K”s btw – lowered his ERA down to 5.44. Also averaging 5 BB’s per 9 IP. At some point, he will be a good pitcher – but he may be taking the Glasnow path.

Bobby L

Tim, I know how much you hate this even being bought up, but is it a reasonable thought that we may be looking at another Liriano situation? Who would want a replacement level player who has such a large contract, unless the other team has a magical cure?
As I see it, Cutch must rebound, the Pirates would have to sweeten the deal to trade him for a lottery ticket or they can just ride out the season and pay the buyout when the season is over.
If he doesn’t rebound and the buyout is the only solution, you really can’t have him in the lineup every day.

Bobby L

The balance of this year’s $14M, right?

Randy W

The $1 million is the amount the Bucs would pay him to buy out his contract, at which time Cutch would become a free agent for 2018. Or the Bucs can keep him for 2018 & pay him $14.75 million.

wvpirate

Only if his salary is picked up for next year

leefoo

At best, if Cutch continues to struggle, we can bring up Meadows and, since Cutch is only hitting LHPS well (.450 OPS vs RHPs) we can platoon him with Meadows.

In other words, Cutch will become our 4th OFer.

Or, once Marte comes back and if Meadows isn’t ready, keep Frazier in LF, Marte in CF and platoon Cutch with Polanco?

bucsws2014

I don’t see Marte returning to CF this season.

beaverjp

The pirates are best served riding it out to the end of the year for value but I assume it will get ugly if he gets bumped lower in the order or splits time with another player.

Bobby L

There comes a time when we all realize that some skills are diminished. I agree with your view, but if he continues having on going struggles he will need to harness his ego.

leefoo

Well, if he continues to suck, it will kill any chance we have at a wild card?

Scott K

Wildcard? You misspelled “Division Title.”

beaverjp

Obscured by few alternatives now but in July? Yeah they need to win.

leefoo

His bat speed is also down 3 MPH.

tcs3gobucs

Even when he was on top of the world, I feared that his fall might be Dale Murphy-like, since he relies so much on bat speed. It is really awful to watch now. 🙁

Robert W

I can’t believe this slump is permanent. He is only 30. He has definitely got himself into some bad habits, but I think with some help he can adjust. I hope they can stick him on the disabled list for a while and let him find the fun of playing again.

Edward C

I wonder if his struggles are having a detrimental impact on the rest of the team. It is hard for me to watch him struggle and I would have to think it would be difficult for his teammates. I know they are professionals but it would still stink to watch him continually underperform. He might be a classic example of a player that might rebound if traded. The PBC should consider trading him and agreeing to pay a portion of his salary in order to get a lottery ticket in return. A change in scenery may do him good and maybe another club would think the same thing.

Jeff Rhodes

You’re touching on something I’ve been trying to put into words for a year now. Cutch isn’t just the sum of his statistics, even when they’re good. The plain truth is, the Pirates built the lineup around him. When Jordy Mercer comes to the plate with runners on, it’s a bonus. And because we have only modest aspirations for him, it isn’t overly deflating when he fails.

But it isn’t a coincidence when Cutch comes up in those situations. The roster was constructed for just that purpose because he proved he could handle it. And it’s just soul-crushing when everything else works as it should and Cutch pulls another weak dribbler to the shortstop.

You can’t trade him now, with Marte out, Polanco coming off an injury and Meadows still in AAA. But about the time the trade deadline rolls around in July, none of those things will be true. And this point, we can just hope he shows a flicker of life between now and then.

tcs3gobucs

Couldn’t agree more. “And it’s just soul-crushing when….” Yup.

Jason K

I wouldn’t agree that you can’t trade him now. Is the team appreciably worse with an outfield of Osuna-Frazier-Polanco? Osuna’s a butcher, but a decent bat.

Jeff Rhodes

No, but that lineup also isn’t vastly better than McCutchen-Polanco-Frazier. Plus, you’ve cannibalized what limited bench strength you might have had with Osuna and Jaso as pinch hitters and spot starters.

It isn’t a great option, but giving Cutch one last chance to rebuild a little value is probably still better than selling at rock bottom without even a valid replacement in house.

In a month or so, both Marte and Meadows will be knocking at the door and something will have to be done. I just think it would be better to fish or cut bait with Cutch then rather than now.

mitch t

Any team looking to trade for Coach at this point is looking to replace a player with equal or worse numbers. Under those circumstances I could see someone tossing a Steven Brault type player. On the other hand I don’t think we need a Stephen Brault type player as much as we need Cutch to find whatever it is he lost. We will not get an offer worth taking, end of story. That said if he catches fire in time to make a difference, I don’t necessarily blink at picking up next year’s option. $13 million doesn’t buy what it used to these days. Too many instances of middle-age power hitters rejuvenating after an off year or two.

Joe Campr

Simple fix….cut Jaso’s dredlocks….get some Just for Men….paint the dreds black….make them into a wig….give the wig to Cutch…vola his skills are back!!!! Easy as 123!

Ben E

Two birds and one stone n’at.

bengurley1

Seems like every game I watch McCutchen is hitting easy grounders to the pull side, which result in outs. The data (career high ground ball rate 44% and near career high 46% pull rate) support this. He might be due for some babip regression, but it seems like unless he can alter his approach, there’s a lower than average babip ceiling.

That being said, if the liner rate, which even last year during the tough times hovered around 20% can rebound (from the current 15%) he might see a pretty decent spIke in productivity.

Maybe the answer is to drop him down in the lineup and encourage him to get on base. Try to limit those pull tendencies

Scott K

Time to play devil’s advocate. This winter many Pirates fans on this board were in favor of dumping Harrison due to his bad play over last 2 seasons. Now he has reignited his career nearly to the level he was playing at 3 years ago, and these same fans screaming to dump him are glad he’s one of the few bright spots in the lineup.

Who can say with certainty the same won’t happen for Cutch? I’m not suggesting he’s going to turn back the hands of time and play at MVP level, but I can see him getting back to a 3-4 WAR level player again at any time this year.

Baseball is a crazy game and I don’t think it’s crazy to think he can start being a productive player again in the near future.

Y2JGQ2

The things causing Harrison’s downturn were always much more obvious and changeable unfortunately.

bucsws2014

Whether one likes Harrison or not (I do), fact is that he’s outperformed his contract extension to date – even in his down years. Might not next year, but looks like he’s a cinch to do it this year at $10 mill.

Can’t say the same for Cutch. But I have a suspicion that he’ll at least bounce back to say, Andy Van Slyke levels. And I do buy into some of his CF issues on shift positioning. He’s been mostly competent this year. Haven’t seen him throw a rainmaker in some time. He’s even throwing to the right base.

piraddict

My guess is that Cutch needs a new set of eyes. For the last couple of years he acts like he just isn’t seeing the ball like he used to. He needs new contacts/laser surgery/ lense replacements or some sort of medical intervention to improve his seeing the ball. If he sees the ball better I expect his bat speed will improve as well as he will be confident when he swings. Doubt slows every athletic reflex down.

Scott Kliesen

Could be some validity to your point. Would have to think players check this regularly since it’s so important to their level of competence.

beaverjp

Do you see his personality adapting in time to right his ship by end of season? He’s GIDPing pitches on the outer half because he convinced he can still pull them + all the strikeouts in general. His refusal to accept what he is in the outfield and best adjective I heard for his handling of the CF situation has been petulant. JHay plays within what he is capable of doing I don’t think there was as much doubt of his floor as a mindset to clear off the biggest salaries in an all out rebuild.

Scott K

There’s no reason to believe he’ll turn it around. Just like last season when there was no reason to believe he would start hitting after he was benched.

beaverjp

I believe he can do better. However it’s possible to make adjustments to approach become more consistent that won’t happen this year for him. Basically not having to go on a tear because you’re in such a hole because if he doesn’t kill it going forward he gets run out of town he should have learned that last year. Again he’s back striking out at an alarming rate and getting weaker contact in fewer times the bat is on the ball. What’s to say that a pervasive understanding of how to pitch him coupled with Cutch not adjusting sets up a scenario where decision makers can’t credibly trot him out .

William R. Maloni Sr

Drop him, but with respect.

It would be addition by subtraction.

clemo83

Gotta give the Pirates credit for signing him to a team friendly contract. It’s unfortunate for Cutch that he won’t get his mega payday that his prime years warranted, but we’d be in really big trouble if we were paying him $30+ million a year for replacement level production. I guess you could fault the Pirates for not getting something/anything in return for Cutch this offseason but I really liked the Pirates strategy of trying to get the biggest return possible. It seemed very plausible that Cutch would have a bounce back Year this year. Despite the negative indicators, I really believed he’d bounce back. But thankfully his contract is not an albatross and we can absorb this.

Scott K

Cutch was quoted saying one of the reasons he signed the extension was to take the pressure off him. He may be struggling because he’s got angst about his future from a financial standpoint. Who knows?

AttyMike

He’s making millions. I don’t think he could possibly have angst. He’s set for life.

Scott Kliesen

Probably is set for life, but when you’re watching a 9 figure payday literally vanish before you’re eyes, it’s going to cause angst. It’s just human nature.

beaverjp

I stopped doing what was expected of me at work because my financial future was uncertain. Wait a minute I’ve been employed at will for the last decade. How fragile I’ve become.

beaverjp

Why I’m glad the fans don’t run the team.

Bobby L

Whatever happens, NH will earn his money for the solution. This is basically one time all of us don’t want to pull the trigger on whatever may result.

beaverjp

I’m surprised that the ’18 option is even up for debate coming into the season I thought it was doubtful even assuming 3-4 war rebound.

Ben E

“This was always a no-win situation for the Pirates.”
yep.

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SUNDAY: Pirates Business

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