Pirates and Giants Have Reportedly Had Recent Trade Talks for Andrew McCutchen

We heard on Wednesday morning that the Pittsburgh Pirates have been discussing trade talks and making progress, despite a lack of rumors for the last 8-10 days. On Thursday morning, Jon Morosi had some specifics, saying that the Pirates and the San Francisco Giants have talked about an Andrew McCutchen trade recently.

Morosi notes that his sources are saying that the Pirates want one of the top three prospects for the Giants in the deal. That’s according to the list at MLB Pipeline, which has OF/1B Chris Shaw ranked first, followed by right-handed pitcher Tyler Beede and outfielder Heliot Ramos. None of them are considered top 100 prospects in the game.

Shaw was a first round pick in 2015, who has hit well in the upper levels, showing some power. His biggest issue is that he is a much better first baseman than a corner outfielder, and he’s only adequate at first base. That would mean that they would need a lot of value from his bat. He has power from the left side, which should work well at PNC Park, but he also doesn’t project to be a high average/OBP guy due to some strikeout issues, a long swing and a lack of walks.

Beede was a first round pick in 2014 and just like Shaw, he is 24 years old. He pitched in Triple-A this season and had some issues, although that’s the be expected from anyone in the high-offense Pacific Coast League (which you need to keep in mind when looking at pitching/hitting stats). Beede controls four pitches that are all at least average. One area of concern with him might be his velocity according to MLB Pipeline. He usually works 92-94, touching 97 MPH, but they said he was a couple of ticks slower this season.

Ramos would be the most exciting of the group, but he’s just 18 years old and has only played in the Arizona Summer League (equivalent of the GCL). He put up terrific stats there and showed four plus tools. He lacks the plus hit tool, but that’s something we could see develop with age and some added patience at the plate. Ramos was the 2017 first round pick of the Giants.

  • I think Beede would be my first choice. He impressed me when he was in college at Vanderbilt. In addition, his stats were great when pitching in the familiar eastern league with richmond.

  • Since it’s relevant… this was Ramos’s 17 y/o season. Next year will be his 18 y/o season and he might be in full season ball. Pretty good

  • So tired of hearing what Cutch isnโ€™t worth right now. Seriously please wait until the trade deadline and find the contender who wants to win it. Then you have value. See Chapman rental to understand.
    Cutch may be top available bat this deadline season.

  • eh, no thanks. not a high prospect, and not at a position of need. next.

  • rickmontgomery
    January 4, 2018 3:26 pm

    I’m surprised the Pirates would even listen to an offer of one prospect not even in the top 100, though I suppose Ramos may well get there. I say keep Cutch, try to extend him and, if that is not possible at a reasonable cost, then trade him at the deadline to a contender in need of that little extra. But really, I love to see the Pirates keep the guy in the ‘Burgh for his entire career.

  • There is no way the Pirates should trade Cutch for such a miserable return – forget it.

  • I dont think any trade suggested here is better than extending Cutch out 3 more years at 15$m anum. The market is suggesting he might be wise to take it. I think we would be wise to make it.

    • why not just deal him this year and then re-sign him or someone similar next winter, all the while profiting a prospect?

      or give Meadows a shot in 2018, and see if you even *need* to buy an outfielder next year.

      and where the heck are all these people getting this $15 million 3 year number for cutch?

      • Eric Marshall
        January 4, 2018 2:25 pm

        Does the market look like they are banging on our door to give up meaningful prospects for Cutch? Has Cutch said he wants to retire here in Pittsburgh? Did he just name his first born Steel? Knowing our situation from a financial perspective… do you believe him stupid to think we can or would offer more than 15 everything else said?

        Also, who would be comparable that we could easily get for 15M without giving away prospects? The returns i have seen have been terrible. If we could have pulled what the Nat’s gave for Eaton last year that may have been good.

      • Lorenzo Cain would be where I look to for a comp and he is stuck out there with no takers so far. Ellsbury, Kemp… the market is rebelling against blowout deals. Even Stanton gets shipped out for a bag of balls due to his contract. This market is tough. That said I think a LF who SHOULD average 850 OPS over the next four years would be a great fit for us at $15M per… and that is a number I made up but I think it’s reasonable and I think he would be crazy not to take it.
        *Mind you Cain is a legit CF which Cutch no longer is but he is a far better hitter overall.

        • 1. Cutch isn’t that much better than Cain with the bat to overcome Cain’s superiority in defense and baserunning; they have different offensive profiles but closer than you’d think in terms of overall production. I do think Cain is probably going to be a good comp for Cutch because they aren’t too far apart in age and both have a lengthy track record of being consistently great baseball players but…

          2. When Cain does sign, if he can’t get a fourth guaranteed year on his deal or a 4th year team option with a relatively high buyout (4 million or higher) then he’s probably going to be making a lot closer to 20 million a year than 15 a year.

          • 1. Cain’s D, which has already started to get Cutch like reviews, is not “superior” to Cutch. It may bet a tad better, but evaluations are expecting him to have to move to a corner pretty quickly.
            2. Who cares if it’s 20 rather than 15? What does that mean, no John Jaso the net 3 years? No S. Rod? Their ENTIRE payroll will be funded by Bam tech sale and luxury tax payouts/profit sharing from big markets. So what if to keep him we have to dump Nova? We have 7 SP’s coming that need/deserve a shot. Tired of this crying broke nonsense. I’m all for the rebuild, but not if it’s a glorified salary dump.

    • Yes.

  • The more I think about Cutch, the more I think the QO option is the best route. Who would give up more than a 2nd round pick for 1 year of him?

    • A team that understands they would get that same comp pick when they acquired Cutch?

      You keep a player at the *deadline* in his contract year when his remaining value is less than the comp pick because the player can’t be QO’d when traded midseason.

    • New to this but I had not
      thought about a QO. That
      would give us an additional
      “bridge” to the future and
      he still would remain tradeable.

      • Cutch would have to accept the qualifying offer and delay his entry into free agency a year. Its his right to decline the QO and he should, simply to avoid the risk of injury affecting his earning potential. That said, Cutch accepting a QO next offseason really doesn’t sound like a terrible outcome.

  • Any thoughts on CF Brian Reynolds and C Aramis Garcia?
    They are BA’s 5th and 6th rated prospects for the Giants.
    On paper, these look like plausible targets for the Pirates.

  • If we are going to settle for so little for our star centerfielder, how come when we were competing we didn’t get that type of talent for the bag of balls everyone here is willing to accept. We could always keep Cutch and get a 1st rd pick. That would be a lot better then some of garbage a lot on here are willing to accept.

    • Eric Marshall
      January 4, 2018 12:33 pm

      couldn’t agree more. If he is so worthless then why not extend him at team friendly contract. He is not replaceable currently.

      • Nobody’s calling cutch worthless.

        The point is that this is probably an 81 win team with cutch. what good does that do for anybody?

        Deal him for a good prospect and see what a Meadows/Luplow platoon can do in 2018. if they’re good, then great. That’s a chunk of money you can throw at 3b or SP in 2019, and you’ve profited a prospect! if they’re bad, then sign McCutchen or Brantley or Pollock or someone similar *next offseason*, and you’ve still profited a prospect.

        nobody dislikes cutch. i think everybody just wants to be realistic about 2018 and not waste assets on it.

        And personally, i think Meadows and Luplow could come close to replacing him, regardless.

        • Eric Marshall
          January 4, 2018 2:29 pm

          I don’t think any of these guys profile like Cutch and aren’t the face of the franchise. why would any of them consider pittsburgh for close to what cutch may? If cutch was worth significantly more than 15M a year right now people would be offering more than the scraps we have seen from the giants. Nobody else even rumored. He wants to retire a pirate, loves the city, just named his first born Steel and we are trying to ship him off for literally nothing…

          • I literally hope Cutch somehow literally stays a Pirate for literally his whole career. But he is not as good as he literally used to be, and they literally can’t afford to pay him like he still is.

      • Cutch was just underpaid by about 60+ million dollars on his current contract. Why should or would he take another team friendly deal to stay with an organization that wont spend to build around him?

  • Jmo, It needs to be Ramos. Very good upside. I would rather see a longer term prospect with some star potential than a lower ceiling prospect who projects to be in the majors sooner.

  • Christian Arroyo would have been nice but the Rays beat them to it.

  • to take any two of them for Cutch would be a disservice to him and his legacy.

    • keeping him through an 80 win year and yielding a comp pick is probably a disservice to his legacy too. And that does no good for anybody.

      Signing him through his age 37 season and watching him dissolve into barely-playable would be the the absolute worst disservice to him and his legacy.

      if you’re worried about his legacy, then dealing him is probably the safest option

      • Eric Marshall
        January 4, 2018 12:34 pm

        If he wants to stay and do so with a team friendly contract… how does anything you say hold true or have value? He is worth well more than 15M and if he will extend at or around that for a number of years we should do it.

        • we can probably agree that 15 mil for 4 years would be fine.

          That said, 1) there is absolutely no evidence that this is what he is seeking… and 2) there would be absolutely nothing stopping them from trading him and then trying to sign him or someone similar when he hits the market again in 2019 if meadows looks like trash.

          • Eric Marshall
            January 4, 2018 2:33 pm

            Why wouldn’t he be bitter and no longer look to offer a team friendly deal if we traded him for less than a top 100 prospect… which would look like a complete salary dump. Just suggesting he is our best hitter, best team leader and if well worth that figure now and for at least a few years. If we aren’t getting great returns like we are with Cole and others then why do it? If he doesn’t want that number… then by all means trade him but at least put it out there that we are trying to resign him. Would go a ways with the fan base and increasing his value.

        • $15M/year is *not* fine for the Pirates. They have $100M to buy about 40-45 WAR. They can’t and shouldn’t pay the same $/WAR as other teams for free agents.

          • You’re conflating several different issues here.

            The Pirates cannot afford to pay league-average $/WAR to *all* free agents *if* they need to lean on that route for accumulating a large portion of that 40-45 WAR.

            A $100m club getting most of their production from arb and pre-arb talent unquestionably can afford to pay Cutch $15m. This isn’t even an argument.

            A $100m club requiring significant free agent contributions to supplement a low pool of arb and pre-arb talent cannot, but that team is going to be f*cked whether they pay Cutch $15m or not.

  • Heliot Ramos is an 18 year old who just had a 31.8% K rate in the ASL. Interesting prospect, but there’s a reason he’s not a Top 100 guy.

    • This comment isn’t gonna age well…

    • I agree with your concern about that K rate. A K rate that high is a concern for a prospect at any level/age. Being omitted from top 100 rankings is neither here nor there for him… yet.

  • Eric Marshall
    January 4, 2018 11:17 am

    Would attempt to extend Cutch at team friendly contract… 15M per year for 3-5 years. Trade Harrison, Cole and Cervelli and we are competing this year and next with return and what we have. If Cutch wants more then trade him. Would also look to move Nova now or at the deadline.

    • Agreed on a new contract for McCutchen. I think it’s crazy to assume the Pirates are all set in the OF, or that McCutchen is going to require a huge salary. Cutch still projects to be far and away the best bat of the group for the next 1-3 years, but he probably wouldn’t be that expensive anymore, so they should at least try to keep him.

      • He isn’t that expensive now and a team friendly deal with the Pirates would effectively be asking him to take a paycut when he reaches free agency for presumably his last chance at a big payday after having already been grossly underpaid relative to his production for his entire career.

    • I agree with this approach. I think Cutch would be open to a team-friendly deal. Move Cole now since there’ virtually no chance he would resign after next year. The Pirates could roll the dice and see how Cole pitches the first half of the season. If he does well, his value should be through the roof.

      Unfortunately, Cervelli doesn’t appear able to stay healthy. I wonder if there’s any market for him.

  • Keep Cutch – Who cares about getting a prospect. Spend money or go home.

  • Sometimes, I feel like a policeman:

    “Nothing to see here, move along”

    It will be like that until ST when everybody comes to camp in the best shape of their lives. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I love the trade ideas for Cutch, Harrison, and Cole. We should get the best talent we can possibly get. I just think, if its a toss up between prospects, we need to be cognizant of exactly when said prospect is expected in Pittsburgh. If we get stuck in a pattern where the prospects are not developing at the same time and are arriving in the majors at different times, then we are not maximizing their value and the team may suffer as we’ve seen in recent years. In a perfect world, we need to get the prospects arriving in the majors at the same time. Trades could make up for the problem of staggered prospects, but Huntington hates trading top prospects. I think this is a very important consideration, but it becomes moot if you can get the top end talent- then forget all of that stuff, we need star potential whenever it arrives. This is exciting – go Bucs!

  • Honestly, i’d be pretty satisfied with Heliot and one of the young MLB relievers.
    Strickland, Law, Crick, etc. Give me the A ball guy with actual upside over those other meh guys. the pirates already have *plenty* of meh guys

    Remember. 1 year of a 3.5 WAR guy making 2 WAR money isn’t like…. THAT valuable in a trade.

    • Heโ€™s really only being paid for 1.5 war. Small difference but he should return about 20m surplus value

      • that’s fair. i still had 8 million / WAR in the brain.

        Regardless, without eating his contract, we’re probably only talking ~1 really good, solid prospect for Cutch.

        • If Cole to the Yankees is still on the table the Pirates should try to take Ellsbury and his contract and flip him for propsects while eating cash.
          If Ellsbury’s still a 1.5-2.5 win guy maybe Giants give up Beede or Shaw for him at the right price

          • the problem there is that ellsbury is still owed money into years where the pirates will want to be good again. Paying significant money to Ellsbury in 2021 just seems like a bad idea for the Pirates. I’m okay with hamstringing the budget in 2018, but shouldnt they go with full spending power in 2019 – on?

            • Once the Pirates get their new TV contract that is on par with the ones that Chicago, Houston, and LA obtained then who is worried about money to spend… ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • If Ellsbury were tradable with that contract don’t you think Cahsman would have moved him? So what makes you think if the Pirates got him they could move him?

    • Guess we should have just kept Strickland back when he was in our system and had TJS

    • Ramos is the exact type of prospect that fans will be pissed getting now because he’s “too far away” and also get butthurt about *not* being able to get a year from now when he blows up in value.

      Plus power, plus run, plus throw. He’ll be a Top 100 prospect for most this winter, from a draft that’ll have less than 10 overall.

      • He’d be my first choice from the Giants for sure. Really exciting tools.

        I’d still look around to see if any teams would be willing to yield a top catching prospect for him, since we’re so barren there, and trades are the easiest way to try to fill that hole, but if that’s not on the table, Ramos seems like a fair get for Cutch.

        • interesting idea.

          I know personally, Catcher is the one position that i’m totally fine with the Cervelli/Martin type strategy from the past. Trades and modest contracts to some badass 28-30 year olds. it seems insanely hard to yield an above average catcher out of a farm system.

        • Catcher is actually my preferred target for Cole, but they’re rare enough that you’re not getting a kid for Cutch unless he’s a million miles away, and the Pirates don’t exactly have a stellar – ok, *any* – track record of developing the position.

          • F Mejia, C Kelly, and C Cisco are kinda the only top prospects who could really headline a deal for Cole.

            They havent dealt with the Cards since the Jack Wilson deal, the Orioles are bad, and the Indians might literally be the *one* team that Cole doesnt provide a meaningful upgrade for haha. I guess Josh Tomlin isn’t very good though. Sign me up for Mejia!

            • Nah, I think you’d do well picking any one of Austin Barnes, Keibert Ruiz, or Will Smith to headline a Cole deal with the understanding that Barnes is the only one who wouldn’t require a second significant (i.e. 50 FV or above) prospect joining him.

              • I would love to deal for Barnes. And the Dodgers love to buy up as many aces as possible, so that’s a feasible deal.

                They might also be in the market for Cutch, and while Cutch isn’t enough to land Barnes, it might be an interesting deal to send Cutch and a decent and valuable but unspectacular prospect at a position of depth to them for Barnes. They have the money to keep Grandal around if they want to, and they could use a regular outfielder since they have talented but inconsistent options almost across the board right now. (Puig and Peterson, of course, being on the very high end of the talent spectrum.)

                In general, though, I think the Dodgers are one of the only teams who we could actually extract maximum value for Cutch from. They have the resources to make that sort of move, and are very aggressive in amateur markets to replace farm system talent they would deal away. Basically, they can afford to overpay.

              • In terms of the catcher position I’d prefer to just get the best possible deals you can for Cole, Cutch, and Harrison to stock the farm system. Then she’d Nova’s salary which in combination with Cole, Harrison, Cutch, Freese and Mercer’s money coming off the books at the end of the year get ahead of the market and scoop up Yasmani Grandal and a second tier free agent starter in next years FA crop while everyone else waits to see what happens with Harper, Machado, etc.

                • This is like… something that i was tempted to write, almost verbatim haha.

                  Love me some Yasmani.

                • Precisely my take as well.

                  The Pirates could rather easily go into 2019 with $50m worth of payroll space and *less* guaranteed obligations moving forward from there.

                • and i’d honestly be fine even keeping Cervelli and platooning the two.

                  Cervelli has a career OBP around .400 vs lefties (ops around .800), and Yasmani has a career OPS of almost .790 vs righties.

      • yup. Beede and Shaw dont help break the chain of mediocrity. This team already has Beedes and Shaws in spades.

        if the pirates system and mlb team was *barren* then i could live with something like “Beede and Shaw for Cutch”. But in their specific current situation, those guys are pointless.

        i’m not even necessarily as high on Ramos as you are, but at least he represents *some* shot at stardom.

        • Ramos is everything we’re excited about from the Pirates’ own 2017 draft, except much better.

      • On one hand yeah get the best talent on the other the ’19 contention probably requires the checkbook.

        • all it’ll require is re-spending the cleared Cutch/Cole/Harrison/Mercer/Freese money. I dont think they have to *increase* payroll too much to be good in 2019. They just have to maintain it around 100 mil.

          Use this year to see which of their replacements can provide some average or above production, and then concentrate the saved money into the spots where the replacements were bad.

          • And my favorite cringer shamelessly walking Glasnow out every 5th start.

            • welp… might as well! figure out what you have so that you know what the 2019 club needs!

          • Eric Marshall
            January 4, 2018 11:55 am

            replacing Cutch will not be that easy. Not from a production or face of the franchise perspective. If he is willing to take a team friendly deal we should do it and continue to build around him. we have the pitching and replacements for Harrison on board. If we can get better prospects by trading Cole, Harrison, Nova and Cervelli we should be able to complete this year and beyond.

            • i just want wins to be the face of the franchise, to be honest.

            • Cutch hasn’t been the type of player the last couple years that you build around. He has become a player that you use to build around someone else.

              • Eric Marshall
                January 4, 2018 2:35 pm

                Yet he is the most valuable offensive piece we have. Yet we are talking VERY little in return for him. Makes no sense to trade him for a lottery ticket.

                • IMO Josh Bell has surpassed him offensively & just because you think he is the most valuable on this team doesn’t mean he still has a lot of value with only one year left while coming off 1 bad & 1 mediocre year. His defense is below avg. His arm is bad, his speed game is nonexistent, his power is avg. He’s no longer an elite player & the rest of baseball knows it. Should’ve traded him a couple of years ago

    • a lot of our upsdie guys became meh guys

  • Don’t think they’re going to give up Ramos for an year of Cutch. :/

    • Maybe. Giants are in win now mode plus Ramos is a long ways from the majors. If Pirates throw in some money as jaygray007 suggests, who knows. Giants also trying to get under the luxury tax.

      • i didnt realize their payroll was that high. holy crap.

        Aging, expensive team with a lot of those older guys locked up for several years. only 3 prospects worth a damn.

        something tells me that the Giants are gonna go away for a while from 2019 to like 2023 >_>

        I understand why they’d do all they could do to have one last hoorah in 2018.

      • F that

  • I hope they do deal Cutch, Cole, Harrison, and Cervelli. Is anyone surprised that it is taking this long? Even that lack of FA signings in general

  • Would be better to just let McCutchen play out 2018 in a Pirate uniform and then QO him, then to trade him to Giants who have ZERO VALUE prospects.

    • If I’m McCutchen, I might accept a QO. Doesn’t seem like aging position players are getting much money lately. $17m might sound pretty appealing for another year of not having to relocate.

      • Eric Marshall
        January 4, 2018 11:14 am

        Why not try to extend Cutch at 15M a year for 3 or 4 years. He wants to stay and we cannot replace him currently or with what is in the upper levels. All for trading Cole, Harrison, Nova and Cervelli… If Cutch wants 20 or more per season then trade him.

        • where are you getting this 15 mil, 3/4 year figure? it seems like you pulled it out of a hat >_>

          • Eric Marshall
            January 4, 2018 2:38 pm

            Probably something fair given the years of commitment and the team friendly requirement. If he turned it down then fine. Team looks like they tried and has some ground to fall back on when trading.

            • I want him to stay a pirate, but I think $15/yr is too high… i think any number of years at $5M/WAR fits within the Pirates budget. — they need to average $4M/WAR to be a contender, so I don’t see how much more than $5M/WAR they can afford to pay.

              The hard part is figuring out what thost WAR values will be. If you assume 2.5 in 2018 and decreasing by 0.5 per year after that, then a 3 yr/$30M or 4yr/$35. No idea if he’d take that, but it couldn’t hurt to offer.

              • I think you could probably still expect 3 war in 2018 and 2019 and 2 in 2020 and 2021, best case scenario……so 10 WAR, 4 years, 40 million. NO WAY he’d take that, but sure, offer it.

                • I think it’s possible that Cutch has 3 more years in him like last year. I liked the adjustments he made last year that got him back to driving the ball to right-center. I think he got pull happy the previous year.

                  I also think part of the problem is the lineup around him. He’s had to carry the load almost by himself in 2017, especially with losing Kang all season and Polanco/Marte for large chunks of the year. I’m of the belief that if the Pirates could fill one of their needs with an impact bat that they could be a contender. Of course, that’s counting on everyone having good years and playing to their potential.

  • That would be a terrible return for McCutchen.

    • honest question… what kind of prospects do you expect for one year of mccutchen?

      • piraterican21
        January 4, 2018 10:46 am

        3-4 war worth.

      • I would expect someone in the value of a supplemental first round pick. That would be equal value.

        • so you’d taking a qualifying offer-level pick for him? Then why not skip the middle man, keep him this year and offer the QO

          • That is exactly what I expect will happen. I most certainly would not trade him for a prospect that I felt was inferior to a supplemental first round talent, it would be stupid to do so. I also would not really be expecting much more either, Cutch probably has more value than that, but it is hard to find a team that is willing to pay more than that.

      • Ill reverse it if we cant get top talent for a player like Cutch, then we should be filling all of our weaknesses with McCutchen level players at 14 million a pop.

      • I would think they should get more than 1 prospect. I understand that Ramos is highly thought of, but he’s a long way off from the majors. I’d want to see part of the package be a player that is ready to step in and compete for a spot on the major league starting lineup. This would be in addition to Ramos. McCutchen’s contract is reasonable for his production, so it’s not like he’s not producing to the contract’s value.

        I’d take Panik and Ramos as a solid return. Panik has shown consistency and has another year until starting the arbitration process. He hits about 10 HR a year and his career average is .282.

    • I’d take Heliot Ramos for Cutch is a heartbeat. Giants would have to add to Beede or Shaw though.

  • Giants are not a great farm system to deal with, and it would likely need to be about quantity, we’d need a package of 3-4 prospects to extract enough value.

    • I don’t think we’d get 3-4 guys for a year of Cutch. I think a top guy and a depth guy would be a pretty fair return.

      • there top guys don’t likely crack our top 8, very depleted system. In most systems I would agree, but I think we would need a couple young guys to take a flyer on.