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MLB Rumors: Andrew McCutchen Interests Dodgers, Rays in Free Agency

Adam WellsDecember 6, 2022

Milwaukee Brewers designated hitter Andrew McCutchen reacts after walking against the Miami Marlins during the sixth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jon Durr)
AP Photo/Jon Durr

Coming off a decent season with the Milwaukee Brewers, Andrew McCutchen is on the free-agent radar for two playoff contenders.

Per ESPN's Buster Olney, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays have shown interest in the 2013 National League MVP.

There's been a slow-developing market for McCutchen, which isn't a surprise given the volume of high-end free agents teams will likely want to act quickly on.

The Dodgers have been connected to Aaron Judge, though it doesn't sound like they will be willing to give him a significant long-term contract.

Per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, Los Angeles is believed to want Judge on a "short-term, high-dollar deal."

In the same report, Rosenthal noted Judge will likely end up getting a nine-year deal from whatever team he ultimately signs with. The New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants are considered the favorites for the 2022 American League MVP.

McCutchen certainly isn't at Judge's level, but he would be better than a fallback plan for the Dodgers. He would also provide a boost to a Rays lineup that lacked thump last season.

The five-time All-Star only hit .237/.316/.384 in 2022, but his OPS+ of 99 was roughly league average. His 17 homers would have ranked third on the Rays in 2022 behind Randy Arozarena and Isaac Paredes (both hit 20).

The Rays and Dodgers both have openings in the outfield to offer McCutchen a potential starting spot. They can also rotate him in the designated-hitter spot to keep his bat in the lineup and take pressure off his legs over the course of the season.

If McCutchen, 36, wants to go to the best spot to win a World Series, the Dodgers could have a leg up coming off a 111-win regular season. They lost to the San Diego Padres in the National League Division Series.

The Rays took a step back last season with an 86-76 record after winning 100 games in 2021, but they did make the playoffs as a wild-card team in the AL.