The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Friday afternoon that they have picked up the 2018 option for center fielder Andrew McCutchen. They also announced that they have declined the options for catcher Chris Stewart and lefty reliever Wade LeBlanc.
McCutchen was an easy choice for his 2018 option. The Pirates had a $14.5 M option, which is just $500,000 more than he was paid this season. He hit .279/.363/.486 in 156 games this season.
Stewart was a decision between a $1.5 M option, or a $250,000 buyout. He hit .183/.241/.221 in 51 games this season. The Pirates have Elias Diaz as a backup option to Francisco Cervelli for the majors in 2018, along with Jacob Stallings as a strong Triple-A option.
LeBlanc had his option declined and the Pirates were able to send him outright to Indiana...
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John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.