Feb. 01, 2018
Evaluating the Andrew McCutchen trade
In an off-season that has felt like more of a lukewarm bath than a hot stove, baseball fans finally got something to sink their teeth into. Andrew McCutchen being traded to the Giants is one of the few big moves that has happened this off-season. Yet, for a Giants team that has supposedly been trying to "get younger", was acquiring another aging veteran really the best move? For starters, McCutchen is adding a lot of power to a team that ranked dead last in home runs last year. He had 28 home runs last year, and while that may be a number indicative of a decline for McCutchen, its a number that would have led the Giants in dingers last year, so it's a certain upgrade in that right. McCutchen also checks off one of San Francisco's most glaring off-season needs in a corner outfielder. McCutchen has played center fielder for his entire career but would likely be placed in right or left field to ease his workload. Even if the Giants do decide to keep him in center it would still prove to be an upgrade over any of their current options, especially with his .986 fielding percentage from last year. Another great asset of McCutchen's is his ability to hit to all sides of the field, as his 2017 spray chart would show. The ability to put the ball across the field will be a huge advantage for him at AT&T Park, especially on nights when the winds don't agree with most hitters. Above all, McCutchen is a proven veteran who will almost certainly have a presence in the clubhouse. To bring in a five time all-star and former MVP is something that won't be overlooked in the eyes of his fellow teammates, especially if the Giants decide to call up prospect center fielder Steven Duggar. Having someone like McCutchen as a possible mentor for Duggar could prove to be vital down the road. Add all this with the fact that the Giants got all this in exchange for nothing more than two second tier prospects and the Giants have themselves a very solid trade.