On Thursday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the Mets held discussions with the Pirates this offseason and last offseason regarding McCutchen, although he cautioned there was "no deal close."
New York is reportedly looking at a number of options and called free-agent signings "more realistic than trades given [the] lack of depth in [the] system."
A trade for Pittsburgh could accelerate a rebuild in the unforgiving National League Central, as McCutchen, 31, will be a free agent after the 2018 season.
McCutchen is a five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger and Gold Glove winner. He also won the 2013 National League MVP and has been a franchise cornerstone for the Pirates throughout his career.
His batting average fell to a career-worst .256 in 2016, but he bounced back last year with a slash line of .279/.363/.486 with 28 home runs and 88 RBI.