Report: Pirates Extend McCutchen

According to a tweet from Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Andrew McCutchen have agreed to a contract extension that will pay the center fielder $51.5 million over six years. The deal also includes a club option for a seventh year at $14.75 million.

The extension is incredibly similar to the six year $51.25 million contract that Just Upton signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks in March of 2010. That deal bought out Upton’s final year before arbitration, three arbitration years and first two years of free agency. Likewise, after narrowly missing out on Super Two status, McCutchen’s new contract covers his final season before arbitration, his three years of salary arbitration, and first two years of free agency, locking him up until at least the 2018 season.

It’s a very good deal for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Although Upton may have the better reputation, he and McCutchen are very comparable offensively, with the Diamondbacks’ young stud having slightly more power and the Pirates’ young superstar putting up better on base numbers. However, considering that McCutchen took an enormous stride forward with his defense in center field this past season, it’s easy to make an argument that McCutchen is a more valuable asset than Upton playing a corner outfield spot.

Consider this: after his first three seasons in the league, McCutchen already ranks among the best hitting center fielders in the game. During that time, only three other players who play full time in center were able to put up better weighted on base averages: Carlos Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury and Matt Kemp. That’s not bad company to be in, especially for a player who has just over two full years of service time.

Comments (7)

  1. It’s a great deal for the Pirates. The Pirates just locked up an all-star calibre CF during what should be his prime years. Raises the question if the Blue Jays should be talking about extending Brett Lawrie.

    • I think the Matt Moore deal does that. McCutchen has played almost three whole seasons in the bigs. A Lawrie contract would be significantly less. I do however really like rolling the dice on these type of extensions. Seems to me they’re a whole lot better than paying for declining years in FA.

      • For sure, I was thinking something like a Matt Moore type deal. It would make sense for the Jays to lock up Lawrie before he posts big numbers this year or next year. Lawrie will be a tougher sign at that point. The widow of opportunity to extend Lawrie may shrink as quickly as his ascent to the majors.

        • I still think you have to wait a bit to make sure he’s for real. We know he’s good, but he didn’t have the pedigree or minor league track record that Evan Longoria did.

          • True, though Lawrie’s progress from AA through AAA was still impressive, in a pretty short time frame. One more year and then we see if the Jays can extend him? If he posts numbers anywhere near what ZIPS are projecting, I would extend him at the earliest opportunity.

          • I would consider it if he starts off the year really well. If it were me and he’s still doing what he has done by May or June I’d be trying to work out an extension

  2. I’d first let pitchers adjust to Lawrie during the beginning of the.year. and if he.readjusts and continues to rake by the all star break, extend him. I had to take a cold maple shower before writing this. Otherwise, I would have argued backdating a contract to the moment of his birth.

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