The Giants and Pirates have recently talked to each other about a deal in which San Francisco would acquire Andrew McCutchen, a source told Jon Morosi of MLB Network. However, Morosi says a trade for the All-Star center fielder is “not imminent and multiple barriers remain.”
One of those barriers for the Giants, who have been interested in McCutchen since early in the offseason after expressing their need for a power-hitting defensive outfielder, has been that they are hesitant to deal one of their top three prospects — outfielder/first baseman Chris Shaw, right-hander Tyler Beede and outfielder Heliot Ramos — for McCutchen. After all, it was only a month ago that they traded infielder Christian Arroyo to the Rays for Evan Longoria. Morosi’s one source said the Pirates want one of those three in any deal for McCutchen.
The 31-year-old McCutchen is heading into the final season of his contract, as he will make $14.5 million. He could be a good fit for a` Giants club that is likely to embrace a youth movement next offseason if they don’t return to serious contention in 2018. The five-time All-Star and 2013 NL MVP slashed .279/.363/.486 with 28 homers in 2017, a year after he looked to be in decline by posting a career-worst .256/.336/.430 slash line with 24 home runs.
Another barrier is that the Giants have been interested in Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton and, if they land both players, they would “substantially weaken” their farm system at the expense of upgrading their outfield. In addition, they are active on the free-agent market and players like J.D. Martinez, Lorenzo Cain, Jay Bruce or Carlos Gonzalez are still available to fill their need.