There are rumors flying on the internet that the Yankees, White Sox, and Pirates are discussing a possible three team deal that would send Andrew McCutchen to the Yankees and Jose Quintana to the Pirates.
The rumor has been gaining traction throughout the day and appears to have at least some validity behind it. In the proposed trade the Yankees would be sending Blake Rutherford and Miguel Andujar to the White Sox in return for Andrew McCutchen.
The Pirates have been working around the clock trying to acquire Quintana and it seems as though they will do anything in order to acquire him. They have reportedly been trying to finalize a deal before Christmas.
Regardless of the legitimacy of the deal it’s interesting to look at this possible deal from the Yankees standpoint. The Yankees would be trading Blake Rutherford and Miguel Andujar in return for Andrew McCutchen at age 30. With Clint Frazier knocking at the door in the minors and Aaron Judge having already tasted the majors last year the Yankees could be looking at a log jam in the outfield if this deal did happen.
If the trade did indeed go through the Yankees would almost have to unload one of their starting three outfielders between Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Aaron Judge. If Andrew McCutchen was to come to New York you would realistically have to trade either Gardner or Judge at that point to make room for him. Given that most likely nobody would touch Ellsbury’s contract.
Andrew McCutchen would undoubtedly make the Yankees offense strong enough to truly compete in 2017. Also, the Yankees may be thinking that they’re buying low on McCutchen currently and they may think they can flip him for a much stronger prospect package. McCutchen had a down year last year just batting .256/24HR/79RBI. Prior to that though McCutchen has always been solid in Pittsburgh posting a season average over his career of .292/24HR/87RBI.
If the Yankees could indeed make this trade then it would be in their best interest to do so. Though Rutherford had a very strong showing in his rookie season, the Yankees could acquire an all-star, veteran outfielder in Andrew McCutchen.
Not only could McCutchen really help the Yankees in the short term offensively, he could potentially be nice trade bait for yet another Brian Cashman prospect flip, but time will only tell. The Yankees can continue to position themselves in trades and free agency to positively continue moving the team forward.
I don’t typically believe in rumors and in this case I’m not going to believe it yet either. The Yankees are looking to keep payroll down and unless the Yankees are able to shed payroll in this deal as well I don’t see the Yankees doing it. I also think it’s rather far fetched for one to believe that the Pirates would give up so much of their farm system, plus McCutchen for Jose Quintana. In my opinion the Yankees would have to give up another prospect and the Yankees would need salary relief. If the Pirates would entertain the thought of taking on salary from the Yankees the trade could definitely gain traction quick. Time will only tell.