MLB Rumors: San Francisco Giants Eye Playoff Contention With Trade For Andrew McCutchen

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Pittsburgh Pirates star Andrew McCutchen becomes the latest high profile player has landed with the San Francisco Giants in a blockbuster MLB trade. Adding McCutchen could be the move that all but solidifies the Giants as contenders for the National League West.

On Monday, the Giants agreed to a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for former National League MVP Andrew McCutchen, according to ESPN. McCutchen is a five-time MLB all-star.

Who the Giants gave up in return for Andrew McCutchen was right-handed pitcher Kyle Crick and minor league prospect Brian Reynolds. It was reported by that the San Francisco Giants did not have to relinquish their top prospect Chris Shaw in the trade for McCutchen.

Andrew McCutchen is an immediate roster upgrade who instantly improves the Giants on offense and defense. McCutchen had some struggles with the Pirates in his last two seasons. Andrew McCutchen uncharacteristically hit for averages of 0.256 and 0.279 in his last two years in Pittsburgh.

McCutchen struggles were evident judging from his wins above replacement numbers of minus 0.7 and 2.5 in those seasons with the Pirates. The Giants are hoping that a change of scenery for McCutchen will also mean a return to his hall of fame level of play.

The Giants’ trade for outfielder Andrew McCutchen, coupled with their acquisition of third baseman Evan Longoria in December, puts the team in a good position going forward. The Giants now can boast an everyday lineup with a balance of power, contact hitting and defense.

Judging by their recent moves, the San Francisco Giants are staking their claim for playoff contention. Missing out on a wild-card berth last season required the Giants to act aggressively this winter. Going after Andrew McCutchen, the subject of multiple MLB trade rumors made sense.

The San Francisco Giants will likely hit Andrew McCutchen in the middle of the lineup. However, it is unclear if McCutchen would be better served to bat in front of or behind Evan Longoria. That will be determined by the Giants at some point during spring training.

The San Francisco Giants adding Andrew McCutchen means that they are taking another step closer to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, and Los Angeles Dodgers. Hitting was the Giants’ biggest weakness.

Not having to give the Pittsburgh Pirates their top prospect also helps the San Francisco Giants. The Giants are closing in on being in the enviable position of having a strong daily lineup, backed up with a solid farm system.