The Mariners are seeking outfield depth and reached out to Pittsburgh to express interest in Andrew McCutchen earlier this offseason, according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi.
Talks between the two sides “did not advance,” according to Morosi.
While it seems unlikely the Pirates are open to moving McCutchen, Seattle isn’t alone in expressing interest. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported the Nationals discussed a potential McCutchen trade with the Pirates.
Seth Smith, Ben Gamel and Leonys Martin are expected to start consistently in Seattle’s outfield, leaving the Mariners concerned with their lineup against left-handed pitching. The Mariners could turn to Danny Valencia or Nelson Cruz against lefties, but McCutchen would prove to be an upgrade as a right-handed power hitter.
If the Pirates are considering moving McCutchen, it’s unlikely they request less in exchange because of his performance last season. Over 153 games, McCutchen batted .256/.336/.430 with 24 home runs and 79 RBIs. Still, he is a career .292 hitter who has hit at least 20 homers in each of the last six seasons.
McCutchen is under contract in 2017 and has a club option for 2018, so any interested team would have a fair amount of control. If Austin Meadows is ready to contribute consistently, Pittsburgh could consider moving McCutchen before Spring Training.