December 11, 2018
The Phillies are expected to sign outfielder Andrew McCutchen, according to a report from The Athletic.
Sources: Phillies are in agreement with Andrew McCutchen, pending a physical.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) December 11, 2018
NBCSN Philadelphia first reported the team’s interest earlier Tuesday afternoon. According to NBCSN, the deal is for three years:
McCutchen, 32, played for the Yankees last season after he was traded from the Giants at the end of August. He has played in the majors for a decade now, and is decidedly past his peak, which included five straight All-Star appearances and an MVP in 2013.
McCutchen’s still a spectacular athlete in the field who can play multiple position and closes ground fast, and at the plate he draws regularly makes contact and moves on the base paths. His batting average last season of .255 was the lowest of his career, and his .255/.368/.424 slash is a far cry from his prime, but he can still produce.
His power — he hit 20 homers last year — will be more than enough to make up for the departed Carlos Santana, and is actually an upgrade due to his better batting average.
According to NBCSN, this signing doesn’t mean the Phillies are out on Manny Machado:
Signing McCutchen would not preclude the Phillies from signing Machado. They remain on J.A. Happ, as well.— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) December 11, 2018
No word on where they stand with Bryce Harper as far as their 2019 outfield is concerned. If this deal is being struck now because the front office thinks they're out on Harper, this feels like a smart and relatively cost-efficient way to fill an outfield spot while remaining in the big-money chase for Machado.