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  1. Fantastic deal for Pitt. Hopes of him becoming a Braves dashed more than likely.

    Comment by Josh — March 5, 2012 @ 1:43 am

  2. An aside: Brett Gardner, who’s not a CF but should be, has also out-WARed McCutcheon.

    Comment by cwendt — March 5, 2012 @ 1:47 am

  3. Well played, Pittsburgh. McCutchen is a solid player at an up the middle position. You really can’t go wrong locking a guy like that up. I hope the Braves make a similar offer to Heyward if he bounces back this season.

    Comment by Jaik Jarrkjens — March 5, 2012 @ 1:57 am

  4. Hopefully this is a beginning to a return to contending for the Pirates, good move.

    Comment by Will — March 5, 2012 @ 2:00 am

  5. Chalk another up for small market teams locking up elite talent. Great for the game. Congrats Bucs fans.

    Comment by Slartibartfast — March 5, 2012 @ 2:13 am

  6. With a WHOLE lotta help from that short porch in left field to overly inflate his dWAR numbers.

    Comment by bstar — March 5, 2012 @ 2:26 am

  7. Great article, Dave, and here’s to the Pirates maybe getting back enough to respectability and get that home town crowd going. It’s a fantastic ballpark.

    Comment by bstar — March 5, 2012 @ 2:33 am

  8. I think Pittsburgh is on the rise and they will shock a lot of teams. Great to see them put up the money for a special player!

    Comment by Slats — March 5, 2012 @ 2:36 am

  9. Nice piece, Dave. And extra props for publishing it at a very late hour.

    Comment by Steve Marino — March 5, 2012 @ 4:05 am

  10. Short porch in left field?

    Comment by Jon L. — March 5, 2012 @ 4:10 am

  11. Yankee Stadium’s short left field, yes.

    Comment by bstar — March 5, 2012 @ 4:27 am

  12. Solid price for solid talent, but mccutchen will probably never peak as the best OF in baseball, and it will likely be because he has been out of physical projection for 5 years. The dude is 5’10 170 lbs and it took all the power in his itty bitty little frame (plus a .030 BA tradeoff) to het to 23 HRs. Physically he doesn’t have the upside of an Upton, or a Kemp, or a Heyward, or even Bruce. He’s a top of the lineup type miscast as a run producer on a miserable offense.

    Comment by Anthony — March 5, 2012 @ 6:02 am

  13. Solid price for solid talent, but mccutchen will probably never peak as the best OF in baseball, and it will likely be because he has been out of physical projection for 5 years. The dude is 5’10 170 lbs and it took all the power in his itty-bitty little frame (plus a .030 BA tradeoff) to het to 23 HRs. Physically he doesn’t have the upside of an Upton, or a Kemp, or a Heyward, or even Bruce. He’s a top of the lineup type miscast as a run producer on a miserable offense.

    Comment by Anthony — March 5, 2012 @ 6:03 am

  14. The short porch at Yankee stadium is in right, not left.

    Comment by Josh — March 5, 2012 @ 6:35 am

  15. Is this automatically one of the 5 most team-friendly contracts in MLB? Huge coup for the Pirates.

    Comment by Josh — March 5, 2012 @ 6:36 am

  16. An aside to that aside:

    The Yankees paid Jeter 51 million for three years…….fail

    Comment by tquinn420 — March 5, 2012 @ 7:00 am

  17. bstar was inferring that the still relatively short porch in left helps Gardner’s defensive range numbers, as he has less ground to cover. Not sure I agree with him, but that was his point.

    Comment by T Biggums — March 5, 2012 @ 7:13 am

  18. McCutchen is, has been, and will continue to be a markedly better player than Jay Bruce. Other than Bruce’s slight edge in power (which is exacerbated by the huge difference between their home parks), McCutchen is superior in every facet of the game.

    Comment by Kirsh — March 5, 2012 @ 7:22 am

  19. This is a good deal assuming $5m/war and 5% annual salary inflation

    Comment by Ricky — March 5, 2012 @ 8:04 am

  20. McCuthen better than Bruce??!!!?!?! Preposterous!!

    Comment by Marty Brennaman — March 5, 2012 @ 8:10 am

  21. The Pirates won’t win using that model because their payroll simply is not high enough. That being said, this is the guy they need to pay, good deal.

    Comment by Shane — March 5, 2012 @ 9:16 am

  22. 23 HRs in the worst park for HRs by right-handers is nothing to sneeze at.

    Comment by matt w — March 5, 2012 @ 9:45 am

  23. Amazing how Victorino has outproduced Cutch. Shane really doesn’t get enough respect.

    Comment by Nik — March 5, 2012 @ 9:57 am

  24. I could be wrong, but wouldn’t McCutchen have been eligible for arbitration this year?

    Comment by Fred — March 5, 2012 @ 10:09 am

  25. Left field at Yankee Stadium is only short right at the foul line. It gets deeper fast as you move away from the foul line. Any benefit from the corner is dwarfed by the 399ft in left center.

    Comment by Ed — March 5, 2012 @ 10:13 am

  26. Although it was surely implied, we need to give some credit to the Pirates GM Neal Huntington. He’s really got his team on the right track. Recognizing McCutchen as the star he is, when he’s not universally regarded as such, is a smart move.

    Comment by Kevin Ebert — March 5, 2012 @ 10:23 am

  27. Nutting has indicated that he will spend when the time is right. The Bucs did make very serious offers to Wilson and, I believe, Edwin Jackson, but both turned them down.

    Comment by bill — March 5, 2012 @ 10:42 am

  28. Chalk another up for small market teams locking up elite talent. Great for the game.

    Not if it means that no one ever sees McCuthcen play, either at the stadium or on national TV.

    Great signing for the team, and for AMcC as well (security). It goes without saying that this should help them team be able to focus on future moves while knowing they have him locked up.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 5, 2012 @ 10:46 am

  29. And we assume he would have out WAR’ed him if Gardner was playing CF how exactly? Do not see the point of this comment.

    Comment by Colin — March 5, 2012 @ 10:54 am

  30. He’s really the forgotten man, offensively, behind Rollins, Howard, and Utley there. Which is a shame, because he’s much better at this point than all three of them.

    Comment by Lenard — March 5, 2012 @ 11:02 am

  31. I’m fine with acknowledging McCutchen as a high-quality real life player if we stop treating him like a future 30/30 fantasy player. He’s more like an enhanced Shane Victorino than he is a lite version of Justin Upton or Matt Kemp.

    Comment by kid — March 5, 2012 @ 11:07 am

  32. But he isn’t a CF, and he put up that war with +25 UZR defense. Which in my opinion means a whole lot less than 3 years of wRC+ of at least 125

    Comment by adohaj — March 5, 2012 @ 11:25 am

  33. “Not if it means that no one ever sees McCuthcen play, either at the stadium or on national TV.”

    What if people listen on the radio?

    Comment by adohaj — March 5, 2012 @ 11:27 am

  34. He just turned 25. And he’s already a 20/20 player drawing 89 BB in the major leagues. Dude is a star in the making. Not a talent of Kemp’s caliber but he will be a far better hitter than Victorino ever was.

    Comment by hernandez17 — March 5, 2012 @ 11:36 am

  35. I’m sure this was the Pirates main concern too.

    Well, Andrew – we don’t really think you’re a 30/30 fantasy player so we’d like to shave a few million off the deal.

    Comment by WeWantAPitcher — March 5, 2012 @ 11:46 am

  36. McCutchen would have been eligible for arbitration after the 2012 season… he narrowly missed Super Two eligibility after 2011.

    Comment by gonfalon — March 5, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

  37. It’s about time… this is a win for the Pirates and other smaller-market teams in general.

    and the fact that 10 out of 36 comments in this thread so far talk about the Yankees rather than McCutchen made me laugh for some reason.

    Comment by gonfalon — March 5, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

  38. From LF –> CF, the positional adjustment & loss of UZR should even out, if the tools are there. In other words, UZR is telling us that Gardner is a +15 CF trapped in LF.

    Point of the comment: Dave is interested in comparing McCutcheon to CFs…yet there are some CFs out there who aren’t in CF.

    Comment by cwendt — March 5, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

  39. Grady Sizemore says hello

    Comment by Pat G — March 5, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

  40. Kirsh, i think he was talking about pure upside, pared with the “even bruce” i think he was hinting that bruce’s ceiling is slightly higher. i dont totally disagree with that statement

    Comment by Pat G — March 5, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  41. Check out markakis’ statistical profile and compare it to mccutch… eerily similar

    projecting him for 30 HRs is a risky proposition

    Comment by Pat G — March 5, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

  42. Even if that’s what he meant, I disagree. McCutchen is a better defender and does everything better than Bruce except hit home runs, and the difference there isn’t very significant.

    Comment by Kirsh — March 5, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

  43. Dave, have salaries gone up the last few years?

    2009 $/WAR 4.5
    2010 $/WAR 4.0
    2011 $/WAR 4.5

    Seems like the clear perception is that salaries have gone up, but is it really the case?

    Comment by joe — March 5, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

  44. I honestly almost didn’t bother reading this because I thought it would be 1,000 words on his $/WAR and future $/WAR. I was pleasantly surprised to find none of that.

    Also, who is McCutchen’s agent, and how can I get him to represent Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, and Mike Napoli?

    Comment by Keystone Heavy — March 5, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

  45. So then the contract actually buys out 3 arbitration years and 3 free agency years right?

    Comment by Fred — March 5, 2012 @ 5:37 pm

  46. I’m curious about this too… has the mean increased, but the median stayed about the same in recent years?

    Comment by gonfalon — March 5, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

  47. bucsdugout.com said it is “Six years, $51.5 million with a $14.75 million club option. This buys out two free agent years. McCutchen would have been a free agent after the 2015 season; including the club option, this move can keep him in Pittsburgh until after the 2018 season.”

    Comment by gonfalon — March 5, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

  48. So your reading comprehension skills led you to equate “we” with “The Pittsburgh Pirates organization”? Interesting.

    Comment by kid — March 5, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

  49. huh, i thought mccutchen had put up better numbers for some reason. obviously a great signing because at his age he could go upton any minute, but with the hype i remember him getting i thought he’d have had a .900 ops season or a top level defensive season by now.

    on 2nd thought that’s prolly good for pittsburgh considering that if he had blown up last year he’d probably have cost a lot more.

    Comment by the fume — March 5, 2012 @ 6:54 pm

  50. I agree about Bruce. Is it just me, but does Jay Bruce seem like the next coming of Pat Burrell?

    Comment by Scott — March 5, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

  51. Sounds like a flaw in the way the TV schedule is devised, not that Pittsburgh locked him up.

    Comment by Marver — March 5, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

  52. This begs the question “who would you have rather resigned for what they just resigned for: Cameron Maybin or Andrew McCutcheon?”

    Comment by Marver — March 5, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

  53. how did jay bruce’s potential become this underrated?

    defensively, jay bruce already has a +20 UZR season and has 100 HR despite only being 24. hitters primes are 26-28 right? he’s younger than mccutcheon and conceivably has more room to grow. he shouldn’t be penalized for putting up positive WAR in the majors before he was legally able to buy a beer…

    or are people just reading too much into his .221 babip fueled 2009? just because he was a BA#1 guy and looks like he won’t live up to the bondsian hype doesn’t mean that he’s not going to be a way above average player…

    i’m buying bruce stock.

    Comment by cable fixer — March 5, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

  54. umm…utley?

    no.

    Comment by jcxy — March 5, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

  55. that’s a sneaky good question.

    i think they have reasonably similar ceilings…but mccutchen is way closer to actualizing his.

    then again, they’ll probably stop giving mccutch the green light if he continues to steal at a 66%ish rate…and maybin might be a better match for the ballpark and comes at a discount…and if he could develop 15 HR power…hmmm

    tough question.

    Comment by jcxy — March 5, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

  56. If you want to talk speedy CF’s with decent offensive skills, Dykstra was just locked up for three years as well.

    Comment by gdc — March 5, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

  57. ^ha. love it.

    Comment by jcxy — March 5, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

  58. Why do people keep putting an “o” in Andrew McCutchen’s name? Was my NFL career that memorable?

    Comment by Lawrence McCutcheon — March 5, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

  59. Check out Jacoby Ellsbury’s dWAR from last year, and compare it to Dexter Fowler’s in Colorado. Yes, that was the point I was making.

    Comment by bstar — March 5, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

  60. Put Gardner in CF in Colorado and let’s see what kind of dWAR he puts up.

    Comment by bstar — March 5, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

  61. Yeah, me too. I love his swing, I don’t think it’s going anywhere. Pat Burrell, seriously? I love McCutchen too, but in my opinion Bruce still has a slightly higher upside (long-term).

    Comment by bstar — March 5, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

  62. Last year was the first year, ever, that Victorino out-WAR’ed Utley. Here’s to hoping for his HOF chances that Utley can get some of that elite magic back with his bat.(Did I just say that? I’m a Braves fan). Hard to root against Utley,though, or Victorino for that matter.

    Comment by bstar — March 5, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

  63. Yes, it was. You were the Rams’ all-time leading rusher ’til Marshall Faulk and Stephen Jackson came along.

    Comment by bstar — March 5, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

  64. Oh yeah, and that Dickerson guy was pretty good, too.

    Comment by bstar — March 5, 2012 @ 11:20 pm

  65. As cutch ages what’s the comp? Will he be a guy who thickens up and gets moved to a corner near the end of this deal or will he stay in center? Also, if he gets moved to one of the corners, how does that effect his value if at all?

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — March 6, 2012 @ 12:28 am

  66. It’s hard to believe that McCutchen is only 6 months older than Maybin.

    Comment by baty — March 6, 2012 @ 1:12 am

  67. the braves would be a whole lot smarter to offer Heyward an extension NOW for half the price.
    why wait until he drives up his value with an inevitably better season?

    Comment by cs3 — March 6, 2012 @ 3:14 am

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