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MLB Hot Stove trades: Giants reportedly acquire Andrew McCutchen from Pirates

MLB Hot Stove trades: Giants reportedly acquire Andrew McCutchen from Pirates

The return for the Pirates is not immediately known, but one thing is clear following the deal - Pittsburgh is rebuilding.

After acquiring third baseman Evan Longoria in December in a cash-neutral deal that could easily be considered a fleecing, Evans turned in another A-rated trade on Monday in landing McCutchen.

But evidently it wasn't a holiday for them, or for the housecleaning Pittsburgh Pirates, who having just rid themselves of pitcher Gerrit Cole for some odds and ends in the Houston system have agreed to a deal that sends center fielder Andrew McCutchen to the Giants, presumably in exchange for a package of potentially intriguing and definitely low-priced youth that has not yet been revealed.

Perhaps just as important as his impact on the lineup, McCutchen keeps the Giants under the luxury tax threshold. The 2013 National League Most Valuable player is coming off a season in which he slugged 28 home runs and drove in 88 runs.

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He has hit 203 career home-runs and finished in the top five of the MVP vote four years in a row, winning in 2013.

Cole and McCutchen were the two best Pirates players in terms of fWAR from 2017.

This isn't remotely the same as when Pittsburgh let Barry Bonds walk following the 1992 season, which is the last time the Pirates lost a hitter as historically good as McCutchen. The 31-year-old is scheduled to make $14M this season. Catcher Francisco Cervelli will be 32 in March, and his numbers (and health) have gotten worse in each of his three seasons in Pittsburgh - he's owed $22 million over the next two years. The Gerrit Cole trade signaled that they wouldn't be contending in 2018, and McCutchen is only under team control for the 2018 season. He was a full package guy playing on several postseason teams. They need to fully commit to this rebuild, and prepare for the next decade of Pirates baseball.

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