New York Mets trade rumors link the team to Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The latest MLB trade rumors indicate that the Mets entered negotiations with the Pirates to acquire the former National League MVP. Adding McCutchen to the outfield could certainly help the roster a bit, but the cost may be too high for the Mets to get him.
A report by the New York Daily News sheds more light on the situation. This includes a confirmation that the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates have officially engaged in trade talks. While a deal doesn’t appear to be close in these negotiations, it was mentioned that the Mets and Pirates discussed an Andrew McCutchen trade during the 2017 MLB season as well. The 2017 talks were reported to be, “very, very preliminary and didn’t have much traction.”
The New York Mets’ farm system is considered one of the weakest in Major League Baseball, so it’s a bit unclear what they would offer in order to acquire an All-Star outfielder like McCutchen. The top five prospects in the system are currently considered to be LHP David Peterson, RHP Justin Dunn, shortstop Andres Gimenez, LHP Thomas Szapucki, and outfielder Desmond Lindsay. Could a combination of two of those prospects be enough for the Pirates to deal McCutchen? Should the Mets even do it?
— NY Daily News Sports (@NYDNSports) January 5, 2018
In 156 games for the Pirates last season, McCutchen had 28 home runs, 88 RBIs, and 94 runs scored. His batting average recovered as well, improving to 0.279 after posting just 0.256 during an injury-plagued 2016 season. Adding an outfielder who can hit 25 to 30 home runs while providing good corner defense and a nice batting average might be an impressive acquisition for the Mets. But do they have any players that interest the Pirates?
Andrew McCutchen is entering the final year of his contract and stands to earn $14.5 million in 2018. That’s not too expensive when examining the going rates for free agent outfielders. The Pirates are ready to move on because they have a lot of depth in the outfield and it’s possible he will leave in free agency. It makes any McCutchen trade appear like a rental with the chance to negotiate first with him on an extension.
While these New York Mets trade rumors make sense in that the team is looking to improve, the short-term gain might be too expensive for the franchise. The team doesn’t want to give up too much and then lose McCutchen as soon as free agency rolls around in the 2019 MLB offseason.