The Milwaukee Brewers have reached an agreement with free-agent outfielder Andrew McCutchen, according to Daniel Álvarez-Montes of El Extrabase. Terms of the deal were not immediately released.
McCutchen, 35, spent the past three seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. He batted .238/.343/.444 (109 OPS+) with 47 home runs over that span, including last season, when he hit .222/.334/.444 (109 OPS+) with 27 homers in 144 games. McCutchen's below-average defense dragged down his overall value, however, with Baseball Reference estimating he had been worth just 3.1 Wins Above Replacement.
In addition to McCutchen's age and limited avenue of providing value, another factor that likely steered teams away from him was his recent platoon history. Over the past two seasons, he's posted a sub-.700 OPS against right-handed pitchers. That combination of negatives led CBS Sports to forecast him having a chilly market. To McCutchen's credit, he has been a more reliable factor against left-handed pitching. Since 2019, he's posted a slash line of .291/.407/.567 when blessed with the platoon advantage.
It stands to reason the Brewers could employ McCutchen as their designated hitter given they already have three viable outfielders, in Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain and Hunter Renfroe. Cain and Renfroe are both right-handed hitters, meaning there's no platoon arrangement to be found on the grass involving McCutchen. (The Brewers are also expected to carry Tyrone Taylor, another right-handed outfielder, as part of their bench.)
McCutchen is the fourth addition the Brewers have made to their position player crop this offseason, alongside the aforementioned Renfroe (acquired in a trade with the Red Sox that sent Jackie Bradley Jr. and prospects back to Boston), reserve infielder Mike Brosseau, and backup catcher Pedro Severino.
McCutchen originally became a free agent after the Phillies declined a club option that would have paid him $15 million next season. Instead, the Phillies paid him a buyout of $3 million, saving $12 million in the process.