Dec. 10, 2016
Did Asking Price Stop Andrew McCutchen Trade?
Andrew McCutchen seemed like the most obvious trade candidate among former MVPs and superstars shopped this offseason. Now into mid-December, and after the Winter Meetings, he remains with the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was also reported today that it’s very likely he won’t get traded at all. Many potential trades are dead and I wonder if the asking price was too high.
The most likely destination for McCutchen had been the Washington Nationals. Instead, they got Adam Eaton from the Chicago White Sox. They didn't get Eaton for much of a bargain either as Lucas Giolito and several other notable prospects were included. A conclusion I draw from this is that the Pirates were asking for too much or Washington wanted Eaton that much more. I'm more inclined to believe the latter.
Perhaps Pittsburgh didn't factor in McCutchen's poor 2016 in trade negotiations. After all, the Nationals did value Eaton highly and a lot had to do with the way he played last year. I vehemently believe the Pirates thought someone would pay big for McCutchen. They failed to realize teams had a lot of other options available to them. Even now there are guys coming off better seasons who could have more value than McCutchen.
This still doesn't mean McCutchen starts 2017 with the Pirates. A fluke injury or a change of direction for a franchise could make McCutchen a target. For now, he'll remain with Pittsburgh until another team pays the price. The Pirates have no immediate need to move him. However, when push comes to shove, I do think they’ll have to move on from the guy who was once the face of their franchise.