Andrew McCutchen’s time with the San Francisco Giants might be coming to an end soon. The 31-year-old outfielder was reportedly placed on revocable waivers, according to The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, and he could be on the move soon.
McCutchen has hit .257/.354/.417 over 528 plate appearances. He’s set to be a free-agent at the end of the season and is making a little under $15 million in 2018.
Giants testing the trade waters on Andrew McCutchen
Placing McCutchen on revocable waivers doesn’t mean a whole lot. Plenty of players hit waivers around this time of year. Since waivers are revocable, teams can test the value of their players without losing them. That’s why superstar players often get put through waivers in August. Teams might only be looking to deal those guys if they get overwhelmed with an offer.
Most of the time, these moves don’t result in deals. With McCutchen, though, it might be more likely. As Baggarly says in his tweet, the Giants have struggled lately, losing four straight games coming into Monday’s game. The team is unlikely to make a postseason push in a crowded National League, and might be best served getting something for McCutchen before he departs in free agency.
The Giants do not have to trade Andrew McCutchen
While it makes sense for the Giants to deal McCutchen, the team doesn’t have to make a move. When a player is placed on waivers, teams have a few days to put in a claim for that player. If a club puts in a claim for McCutchen, that team has a limited window to work out a deal with the Giants. If the Giants don’t like offers from that team, they can pull McCutchen off waivers and keep him.
If McCutchen goes unclaimed through waivers, he’s eligible to be dealt to any team. This is the preferred option for the Giants since it would allow them to negotiate with multiple teams.
What are the odds Andrew McCutchen gets claimed on waivers?
There’s probably a good chance McCutchen gets claimed by a team. While he’s no longer in his prime, McCutchen has a long history of superstar production. By all accounts, he seems likes an excellent leader and a good clubhouse presence. He would undoubtedly help a team in the postseason.
Problem is, McCutchen would have to get past plenty of other teams before a club with a shot at the postseason has a chance at getting him. There’s also a possibility that a club will claim McCutchen simply to block another team from getting him. There are some mind games involved.
Which teams could use Andrew McCutchen?
The Colorado Rockies and the Cleveland Indians have the lowest wRC+ — an advanced stat that measures offensive performance — from their outfield of all the playoff contenders. Cleveland tried to improve its situation by dealing for Leonys Martin, but a serious infection has kept him away from the field. The St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics would be the next two playoff contenders with a need in the outfield, according to wRC+.
The New York Yankees have a strong wRC+ from their outfield, but with Aaron Judge hurt and Brett Gardner underperforming, you could make the case for them too.
Given that he fits for a number of clubs, there should be plenty of interest in McCutchen. Whether he actually gets dealt depends on the one team that decides to put in the claim for him.
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