A couple quick links for Monday:
-P- A couple weeks ago, I scoffed at the idea of Andrew McCutchen moving to right field, on the grounds that his arm isn't good enough to play there. MLB.com's Mike Petriello, though, thinks McCutchen would be a pretty good fit in right, since having a good arm is less important than the ability to track balls down, and since McCutchen is better at going to his right than to his left. In other words, if the Pirates put him in right field, he'll have less territory to cover to his left, and he'll field more efficiently. This is a great article that might make you think about this topic differently.
-P- Also, Jim Bowden suggests the Pirates trade McCutchen to the Dodgers for top prospects Jose De Leon (a right-handed starter) and Cody Bellinger (a first baseman). Some of Bowden's trade proposals are a little wacky, but I don't hate this one from the Pirates' perspective. De Leon pitched very well at Triple-A in 2016 and could join the Pirates' rotation right away, and would have significant upside once he got established. He has a low-90s fastball, a slider and a changeup that's earned him praise, so he certainly has a starter's repertoire. Add him to the Pirates' existing group of young starters, and they could suddenly have a pretty good rotation in 2017 and a very good one in 2018. As a way of improving the Pirates' rotation for 2017, he'd be a much better option than trading an asset for a veteran. (Of course, the Bucs might prefer to hold De Leon in the minors until the summer because of Super Two, but since he already has 29 days of service time, they'd be waiting until mid-July, which seems excessive given their rotation needs.)
Bellinger is a left-handed hitter who would probably start the 2017 season in Triple-A and come up at some point in 2018. He hit 26 homers last year with very good plate discipline while being young for Double-A, so there's good reason to think he could be a legitimate middle-of-the-order type someday. He isn't a perfect fit for the Pirates organizationally, since the Bucs already have Josh Bell and plenty of outfield talent. But that's a good problem to have, and Bellinger's ability to play outfield as well as first base would give the Pirates flexibility even in the happy event that all their players stayed healthy and continued to develop.
The Dodgers might actually feel De Leon and Bellinger are too much to give up for two years of McCutchen. But it wouldn't be unreasonable for the Pirates to ask. There's also the fact that the Dodgers are under orders to fix their debt issues, which means that if they did deal for McCutchen, they might ask the Pirates to cover some of his salary or to take a contract like that of Brandon McCarthy to offset salary -- which wouldn't be the worst idea, actually. That might ensure the Pirates get the sort of return they like, and McCarthy, a starter who's returning from injury and who's posted very good peripherals in the past, would be a pretty interesting fit for the Bucs anyway.