MLB Hot Stove rumors: Mets passed at the chance to trade for Andrew McCutchen

On Monday, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded franchise cornerstone Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants as part of a three-player deal. But before the Pirates and Giants reached an agreement -- and before the New York Mets signed Jay Bruce -- the Pirates and Mets discussed a potential swap for McCutchen.

There was just one problem: the Mets were unwilling to move Brandon Nimmo, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Yes, really:

The Mets recently balked at the Pittsburgh Pirates' request for outfielder Brandon Nimmo in a trade for outfielder Andrew McCutchen, according to major league sources, reaching agreement with free agent outfielder Jay Bruce on a three-year, $39 million deal instead.

Rosenthal notes that while the Mets could still use Nimmo as the centerpiece for a Josh Harrison trade, their reluctance to trade him for one year of McCutchen could speak to a grander philosophy, in which they'd rather spend money on free agents than deal young talent.

Nimmo, for his part, will turn 25 come March. He has played in 101 games over the past two seasons, compiling a 104 OPS+. He'll probably never live up to his draft-day expectations, as he was selected 13th overall in 2011 -- yes, a pick ahead of the late Jose Fernandez -- but the Mets have hope he'll become an everyday starter.

It's unclear what, if anything else the Pirates demanded in return for McCutchen. Clearly, though, the Mets found the asking price too rich for their liking. 

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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