Should the Bucs Bring Back These Former Players?

Two former Bucs will be FAs- Josh Bell and Andrew McCutchen. Should the Bucs try to sign either of these two?

First lets assume that these players WANT to sign with the Pirates and that the Bucs are willing to spend the $s necessary to sign them. I want to discuss if either of these players would have a role in 2023 Bucs.

Let's start with Bell. He had a decent 2022. BA of .266, 17 HRs, OPS of .784, and WAR of 3. His OPS would have been second on the Bucs in 2022. However he had dramatically different 1st and 2nd halves. In the 1st half he hit .311, OPS of .895, and 15 HRs. In the 2nd half he hit .194, OPS of .607, and hit only 4 HRs. This is somewhat like his 2019 season when he hit 27 HRs in the 1st half but cooled down considerably in the 2nd half.

He is suited to be just a DH. His defense at 1B has improved from terrible to only awful. He still can't throw. So if the Bucs signed him, it would be mainly as a switch hitting DH. His LH/RH splits were comparable in 2022. So do the Bucs want him as just a DH? He could provide better production than other options but he would be like Vogey where DH is his only position. If he again had a strong 1st half, he could be flipped. It is not like the Bucs have a good option at DH to kick off the season.

I would take chance on Bell assuming the price was acceptable. Last year he made $10M. I am guessing he Bucs could sign him to a 1 yr $8M deal.

Now let's talk McCutchen. Beyond the feel good story, what could he bring to the team? He can play (or would it be man) either corner OF positions or DH. He is coming off a down year. He hit only .237 with 17 HRs and an OPS of .700. He made $8.5M in 2022. My reaction is I pass on McCutchen. We could get the same production with SuWINski at alot less $s. Why Gamel hit .232 with 9 HRs and an OPS of .693 with much better defense. Plus Gamel only made $1.8M in 2022. We could sign Gamel for less than McCutchen and get the same production with better D.

In summary, I'd take a chance on Bell for the right price but pass on McCutchen.

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