The Pittsburgh Pirates have officially signaled their intentions to rebuild after shipping their ace to the Houston Astros for a less than inspiring return, the Blue Jays need to be on the horn with the Bucs General Manager giving the proverbial college try at obtaining Andrew McCutchen for a similar like return.
The Blue Jays are still searching for an external replacement to fill the outfield void left by free agent Jose Bautista. The Jays like many teams have slow played the offseason making small tweaks to the lineup thus far.
The Jays have been linked to free agents Lorenzo Cain, Carlos Gonzalez and Jay Bruce before he re-upped with the New York Mets. The advantage to acquiring McCutchen over a free agent like Cain is the Jays would not have to surrender a draft pick as Cain and others have a compensatory pick attached to him.
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The Pirates shipped Gerrit Cole to the World Champion Astros for a package of Joe Musgrove, Michael Feliz, Colin Moran and Jason Martin. Many evaluators in the game have opined that the return for Cole was brutal especially seeing the hurler won’t hit free agency until 2020 albeit he is coming off a down year where he had an earned run average north of 4.00.
The 31-year old McCutchen will be a free agent at the conclusion of next season as the Pirates appear motivated to rid themselves of his $14.5 million dollar commitment. The Jays could dangle a Dalton Pompey, Dwight Smith Jr. or Rowdy Tellez type player along with a Conner Greene or Jon Harris caliber arm plus a low-level prospect in an effort to land the outfielder.
Last season McCutchen rebounded from a disappointing 2018 campaign hitting .279/.363/.486 with 28 homers and 11 stolen bases and a 2.5 WAR in 156 games. The outfielder would not come with the term attached to one of the top free agents although he would more than likely be a rental type player for one season.
However, with Teoscar Hernandez and Anthony Alford waiting in the wings, one season of McCutchen may not be so bad and the Jays could potentially flip him at the deadline if they are not in contention.
If I am the Jays, I strike now for Andrew McCutchen hoping you can snowball them much likes the Astros just did for Cole. Take a shot at him, Ross.