Blog Entry

Pirates lock up McCutchen to 6-year, $51.5 M deal

Posted on: March 5, 2012 8:02 am
Edited on: March 5, 2012 10:58 am
Andrew McCutchen

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Pirates have locked up center fielder Andrew McCutchen to a six-year, $51.5 million contract, insider Jon Heyman confirms.

The 25-year-old McCutchen made his first All-Star team in 2011 and was scheduled to be arbitration eligible after this season. The new deal buys out not only his three arbitration years, but also two free agent seasons and gives the Pirates a club option for another, giving Pittsburgh control over him through the 2018 season.

The deal is similar to the one NL Central rival Jay Bruce (six years, $51 million) signed a year ago with the Reds and the one Justin Upton signed before the 2010 season (six years, $51.25 million) with the Diamondbacks.

It also assures the Pirates will be able to build around the young star. Last season, McCutchen's batting average dropped, but his on-base percentage stayed steady and his home run and RBI totals jumped, as he emerged as one of the young stars of the game. McCutchen hit .259/.364/.456 with 23 homers and 89 RBI in 2011, while stealing 23 bases. Overall, he's hit .276/.365/.458 in three seasons in Pittsburgh, while playing a solid center field.

This is the type of move that helps the Pirates more than most teams. Pittsburgh has lost many of its young, talented players to free agency. This proactive move keeps McCutchen in Pittsburgh and allows Pirate fans a piece of mind that he'll be around in the long term. It also gives McCutchen a big payday before he would otherwise be eligible.

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Since: Apr 30, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2012 10:52 am

Pirates lock up McCutchen to 6-year, $51.5 M deal


Since: Jan 21, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2012 10:40 am

Pirates lock up McCutchen to 6-year, $51.5 M deal

This is a step in the right direction for the Pirates. For them to stay competitive, they need to keep the core of their young players like McCutchen, Neil Walker, and Joel Hanrahan and their starting pitching to be more than effective than last year.

Since: Mar 5, 2012
Posted on: March 5, 2012 10:38 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 10:23 am

Pirates lock up McCutchen to 6-year, $51.5 M deal

Good to see the Pirates finally investing for their future.  McCutchen is a stud that they could build a franchise around.

Bravo Buccos!!

Since: Mar 14, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:42 am

Pirates lock up McCutchen to 6-year, $51.5 M deal

I'm a Cardinals fan, but I still like to see this deal. Baseball needs teams like the Pirates to keep their players like McCutchen. Fans need to have their stars to identify the team with. This is just a first step though, Pirate ownership and management must continue to fulfill their promise to compete after getting their beautiful new stadium years age. This hasn't happened yet, but you've got to start somewhere.

Since: Jun 2, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:42 am

Pirates lock up McCutchen to 6-year, $51.5 M deal

What a great day for Pittsburgh!  Cutch - you will be a god here for taking less than you could have a couple years from now.  Five hundred has got to be no more than 3 years away.  Let's go Bucs!

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:33 am

Pirates lock up McCutchen to 6-year, $51.5 M deal

This has been an interesting offseason for the small market teams. I wonder if this has anything to do with the player's union going after the Marlins a couple years ago for having yearly firesales and not spending which apparently was a MLB policy violation. The Marlins become the example and then all the other small markets start spending after they realize that money they get is going to go to MLB when the team is found in violation and could risk losing first round picks.

Since: Jun 30, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:22 am

Pirates lock up McCutchen to 6-year, $51.5 M deal

Another comment from someone who doesn't understand the way that baseball's economics are an uneven playing field.  Why do the Yankees consistently win enough to go to the playoffs?  Could it be that they have multiples of the Pirates entire payroll to spend?  And Slammin - did you notice that the new labor agreement will stop Pittsburgh from doing exactly what you suggest?  No longer will they be allowed to pay "over slot" so they can draft more talent than they otherwise would have been able to. 

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:14 am

Pirates lock up McCutchen to 6-year, $51.5 M deal

Slammin6, People that get there jollies over stomping on the Pirates are more pathetic than Pirate ownership since PNC Park opened.  And that is saying a lot.

As a lifelong Pirate fan, I can't help but feel a little bit excited over this deal, and the trade for Burnett.  Are either one going to be what puts us over the top?  Clearly not.  But, it shows that maybe the Pirate ownership will start taking the fans seriously and attempt to put a good team on the field.  That hasn't happened in a long time with the Pirates.  There payroll is still less than the last year in Three Rivers Stadium, which is pathetic when you consider that there main marketing motivation to get the public to support the stadium was so they could spend  money and contend.  They have yet to come through with that promise.

All that being said, it is going to take a lot more spending to get the Pirates to be a contender and that is something that I will believe when or if I see it.

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:06 am

Pirates lock up McCutchen to 6-year, $51.5 M deal

A serious contract for the Pirates?!?!?!!? Amen, it was long overdue. Finally players can look at somewhere on the Pirates and see they are actually willing to spend money now. Its baby steps, but this will help the future free agency crops considerably.

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