In an offseason with guarantees of “stupid money” being spent by the Phillies, the club has now opened up their checkbooks and signed their first free agent. Matt Gelb of The Athletic reports that the Phillies have made a deal with outfielder Andrew McCutchen. The deal is worth $50 million over 3 years. McCutchen, the 2013 National League MVP, is not the elite player that he once was but is still a solid contributor. He’ll provide the Phillies with leadership in the clubhouse and consistency from a corner outfield spot.
McCutchen, 32, spent nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates before splitting last season between the Giants and Yankees. Overall in 2018, he batted .255 with 20 home runs. McCutchen also sported an OPS+ of 118, while putting up a decent year defensively in the outfield.
McCutchen’s signing will not exclude the Phillies in the running for free agent stars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. McCutchen is another righty in a lineup that lacks power from the left side. This leads me to believe that the Phillies are planning to do all they can do to acquire Harper. The addition of Andrew McCutchen puts the Phillies in an interesting position, as they can sign or trade for many pieces to complement him in the lineup. You can bet on the Phillies making more moves to compete in 2019.