The Pittsburgh Pirates have re-signed Andrew McCutchen on a 1 year deal worth $5 million, per Jason Mackey of the Post-Gazette
Sources: Pirates bringing Andrew McCutchen back. One year, $5 million. Story to come.— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) December 19, 2023
Last year McCutchen returned to Pittsburgh on another one year $5 million deal after a five-year absence which included stops with the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers after being traded to the San Francisco Giants for OF Bryan Reynolds and RHP Kyle Crick.
This will be McCutchen’s 11th season in Pittsburgh, he ranks fourth in team history in homeruns, seventh in extra base hits, and tenth in bWAR. He recorded his 1500th hit with the Pirates, and 2000th in his career this past season but fell one short of his 300th career homer when a partial tear in his Achillies tendon ended his season prematurely.
McCutchen had a 133 wRC+ and was hitting .287 with a .399 OBP and slugging .455 through the end of June before he went down hard on the same elbow that had already been keeping him from playing the outfield in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 5. After returning from a 10-day IL stint his production fell off hitting just .233/.369/.341 with a wRC+ of 102 the rest of the way, finishing the year .256/.378/.397 with a 115 wRC+.
The move shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, both McCutchen and the Pirates have expressed their desire for him to play out the remainder of his career, however long that may be, in Pittsburgh.
For what it’s worth, I think this is the right move for a multitude of reasons, amid all the reasonable frustrations to have, I give them credit for getting this right. Yes, he made them a lot of money in ticket sales and merchandise this past season, but keeping productive and popular players because your business is more successful with them than with anyone you could pull off the scrap heap can only be a good thing.
It’s rare for teams and for fans to get happy endings with beloved players, just look toward the Cincinnati Reds and franchise icon Joey Votto, who’s last moment in a Reds uniform will be him getting ejected from the last game of the season before the Reds declined his 2024 club option.
As people who enjoy baseball, we should be enjoying this while it lasts.
With the roster full, a corresponding 40-man move will be required.