Earlier this evening, Keith Law posted that Pittsburgh Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen is not untouchable, as some may of previously thought. McCutchen, who is entering the first of four arbitration-eligible seasons given his Super Two status, is sure to demand a good salary in the upcoming years.
While it's hard to imagine the Pirates giving up their marquee player, there's a chance that they may view him as an opportunity to acquire multiple elite young players whose respective primes will align better with the likes of top prospects Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon and Josh Bell. It's more likely, though, that they're merely testing the waters to see what could happen, similar to what the Arizona Diamondbacks did with Justin Upton last year.
After shedding about $10 million in salary since 2009, the Pirates are slowly starting to shell out some cash to their players. McCutchen, who had a career year in homers with 23, also saw his best value in WAR (5.7) as well as in the field (UZR 3.5). To put that into perspective, McCutchhen ranked 5th among NL outfielders in WAR according to FanGraphs, ahead of sluggers such as Matt Holliday and Hunter Pence. Fangraphs also valued him at $25.5 million last season based on his WAR figure.
Bullpen Banter and Beyond the Box Score's JD Sussman started the conversation earlier, so comment away friends: