I was listening to Buster Olney’s Baseball Tonight podcast yesterday and he had an interview with Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen, who sounds like he is completely miffed that he is moving to RF this season.
McCutchen, who is coming off of a disappointing 2016 campaign, is entering his age 30 season with a relatively team friendly contract. He is set to make $14 million this year and there is a team option at $14.75 million for next season. With his diminished skill set, especially defensively, the Pirates have decided to move him to RF and could ship him out of town before the trade deadline.
According to Baseball Reference (via Fielding Bible) Marte is clearly the superior defensive outfielder when manning CF. Marte was -2 when it came to defensive runs saved (DRS), which is just below the league average for center fielders.
Conversely, McCutchen -28 in DRS when playing center, which is 23 runs below the league average.
With super OF prospect Austin Meadows ready to go in the minors, Starling Marte under team control through 2021 and Gregory Polanco under team control through 2023, it seems that McCutchen is the odd man out in the Pirates outfield. A number of rumors were swirling this offseason, but look for McCutchen to be wearing a different uniform by the July trade deadline.