Andrew McCutchen, Pirates Reportedly Agree to 1-Year, $5M Contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 13, 2023

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25:  Andrew McCutchen #24 of the Milwaukee Brewers sits in the dugout during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 25, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Milwaukee 2-1. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen is reportedly set to return to where it all began for him in his Major League Baseball career.

According to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, McCutchen has agreed to a one-year contract to return to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mackey added the contract will be worth $5 million.

The 36-year-old spent last season with the Milwaukee Brewers, hitting .237 with 17 homers, 69 RBI, 66 runs and a .700 OPS in 134 games. It was a bit of a letdown campaign after he bashed 27 homers and 80 RBI the season prior with the Philadelphia Phillies.

McCutchen has had a superb career, winning the NL MVP in 2013 to go along with five All-Star nods and a Gold Glove in 2012. He spent the majority of his career with the Pirates (2009-17) before stints with the San Francisco Giants (2018), New York Yankees (2018), Phillies (2019-21) and the Brewers last season.

Pittsburgh originally selected McCutchen with the 11th overall pick in the 2005 MLB draft, and every major accolade he achieved during his MLB career came during his nine years with the Pirates.

That includes three straight playoff appearances from 2013 to 2015, and a 2013 MVP campaign that saw him hit .317 with 21 home runs, 84 RBI, 97 runs scored and 27 stolen bases.

Once a regular in center field, the Fort Meade, Florida, native largely patrolled left field for the Phillies and split time between being a designated hitter and outfielder in Milwaukee, primarily in left field but with some appearances in both center and right.

That outfield versatility makes him valuable, though it's fair to question if he's better suited in a DH role at this point in his career.

McCutchen isn't an MVP-level or even All-Star player at this stage, but he's a solid veteran addition for a Pirates team in the midst of a rebuild.

Rumors have run rampant regarding the Pirates trading star outfielder Bryan Reynolds, and while nothing has happened on that front yet, the signing of McCutchen gives Pittsburgh some outfield depth if a deal does ultimately go down.