McCutchen is making $14.75 million this season and is set to become an unrestricted free agent this winter. Even if they take on the remaining $2.5 million on his contract, the Yankees would remain under the luxury tax threshold, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.
After being drafted 11th overall in 2005, McCutchen spent the first 13 years of his professional career with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. However, as the team looked to build for the future this winter, it traded him to the San Francisco Giants.
McCutchen is having arguably the worst season of his career, hitting .255/.357/.415 with 15 home runs, 28 doubles, two triples and 55 RBI in 130 games.
He has struggled to adjust to the spacious AT&T Park, owning a .249 average with just five home runs in 64 home games this year. A change of scenery could provide a boost to his numbers, as he has a .261 average and 10 home runs away from San Francisco this season.
McCutchen may not be the All-Star-caliber player he was in his prime. However, the 31-year-old can still provide some pop.
New York has a firm hold on a playoff position at 84-50. While the Yankees sit eight games back of the Boston Red Sox in the American League East, they are 9.5 games up in the wild-card race.
Even though they appear to be headed to the postseason, they were in need of outfield help. Aaron Judge (wrist), Clint Frazier (concussion) and Jacoby Ellsbury (hip) are all on the disabled list, while Giancarlo Stanton has been playing through a hamstring injury. As a result, veteran infielder Neil Walker has been seeing time in right field for the first time in his career.
McCutchen has been moved from center to right as he has aged and ranks 10th among 14 qualified right fielders with a defensive rating of minus-6.5, according to FanGraphs. Given he has averaged 155 games over the past eight seasons, though, he is someone the Yankees can depend on to be in the lineup on a daily basis as others on the roster deal with injuries.