Then again, maybe his better years were left with Pittsburgh.
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A 10-year veteran, Andrew McCutchen was a spectacle on the diamond. He gave Steel City hope of a brighter future. 2013, 2014 and 2015 he led the Bucs to post-season berths, a first since the early-90s. His impressive stretch from 2011-2017 brought on comparisons to Willie Mays and Ken Griffey at the plate. In the field he played angry, fighting off teammate Sterling Marte for dibs in center field; a place wanted to always remain. And the fact that he voiced his love for the Bucs and wanted to stay in Pittsburgh, even going as far as naming his newborn son Steel, brought the game back to when it felt more personal. It felt more connected. Cutch was the unofficial son of Pittsburgh.
The beginning of this season the 31-year-old was traded to San Francisco for a handful of prospects in return. While the Bucs are in rebuild-mode now, it still doesn’t sit right in Steel City to this day. There are those who say Cutch has lost a step in his game, and that opinion can be supported by his down slide defensively, a move to right field as well as his so-so numbers in San Francisco since joining the organization. The low-grade prospects the Giants received in return from the Yankees give further backing to these opinions.
Now he’s a Yankee, a destination most stars end at.
The move does make for good insurance due to the Aaron Judge injury. However, this means Cutch is a placeholder, a temporary solution, for the remainder of the season until he becomes a unrestricted free agent. A move made similar by Toronto, who traded Josh Donaldson before the deadline to make way for their impending stud prospects. Yes, Cutch is still young enough and possesses a fearful bat in any lineup he’s in, and it will be interesting to see how he reacts to AL arms.
However, unless a mid-career resurgence occurs, it’s safe to say his days of putting MVP-like numbers and being the face of a franchise are traded in for more of a supporting role. In New York he will serve as the Robin to Stanton/Judge’s batman.