McCutchen Shipped Out of Town as Pirates Sail on 2018 Season Before it Starts


PITTSBURGH (EYT) – The face of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Andrew McCutchen, was traded away Monday along with “cash considerations” to the San Francisco Giants for a relief pitcher, a minor league outfielder and $500,000 in international slot bonus pool space.

The “cash considerations” are being reported as the Pirates sending $2.5 million to the Giants, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

The Pirates received back Kyle Crick, a 25-year old converted starter who was at one point considered a top prospect in the Giants organization before faltering in the minors as a starter, and 22-year old outfield Bryan Reynolds, who has not played above Class A.

“There is simply nothing easy about this decision,” Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting said. “It is one of the most emotionally agonizing decisions that we have had to make in my tenure. Not only because of the type of player Andrew is, but also because of Andrew the person and for what he has meant to me personally, to our organization, to our fans and to our community. It has been an honor to see first-hand Andrew grow into the man that he is today. I was there for his first workout at Pirate City in Bradenton. Even as a teenager his smile and energy were infectious. His talent was on full display for our fans from the moment he made his Major League debut; to the signing of his contract extension; to his MVP season in 2013 and his leadership role in our three straight Postseason appearances. Andrew helped create so many special memories both on and off the field for me, our organization and our fans. He did so while always carrying himself with humility, dignity and grace. He will be forever appreciated and celebrated by the Pirates organization. I want to thank Andrew and Maria for all they have done for the Pirates organization. We wish them and their family nothing but the best.”

McCutchen is a five-time National League All-Star and was the 2013 National League MVP. He is coming off a season that saw him hit .279 with 29 home runs, the second-highest total of his career, 30 doubles and 88 RBIs while posting a team-high .849 OPS.

“It’s no secret that we were looking to further add run production to our lineup”, said Giants Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Brian Sabean. “Anytime you have the opportunity to bring aboard someone with such a track record, you have to jump on it.”

Drafted by the Pirates in the first round (11th overall) of the 2005 MLB June draft, McCutchen put together an excellent career in Pittsburgh, compiling a .291 batting average with 292 doubles, 44 triples, 203 home runs and 725 RBI in 1,346 games during his nine-year career (2009-17). McCutchen is one of just four Pirates with 200-or-more career home runs, joining Willie Stargell, Ralph Kiner and Roberto Clemente.

“Andrew has been the center-point of the return of the Pittsburgh Pirates to a playoff-caliber baseball team,” Pirates Executive Vice-President and General Manager Neal Huntington said. “He played a significant and special role on our 2013-15 clubs that brought playoff baseball back to Pittsburgh. His accomplishments on the field are plentiful and deserve our respect and appreciation but he has also continued to be a terrific role model as a person off the field. Watching Andrew patrol center field with grace, fly around the bases, drive the ball all around the ballpark, celebrate with his teammates or interact with his family, friends or fans has created lifelong memories for me and many, many others around the game of baseball. This decision was an incredibly difficult one to make. We truly appreciate all that Andrew has done for this organization, city, fan-base and the game of baseball and wish him nothing but success in his future in and beyond the game of baseball.”

Crick made his big league debut this past season with the Giants and produced a 3.06 ERA (32.1ip/11er), 28 strikeouts and .191 batting average against in 30 relief appearances. In addition, he allowed just three of his 21 inherited runners to score. Crick was selected 49th overall by San Francisco in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and represented the Giants at the 2013 All-Star Futures Game. Since making his professional debut in 2011, Crick has gone 25-31 with six saves, a 3.37 ERA (478.2ip/179er) and 540 strikeouts in 150 appearances (92 starts) at the minor league level.

In 2013 and 2014, Crick was the No. 1 prospect in the Giants organization via Baseball America, but his career seemed to stall while spending three full years (2014-16) at Class AA Richmond in the Eastern League. In his final season in Richmond in 2016, Crick was 4-11 with a 5.04 ERA while walking 67 in 109 innings of work.

Following the 2016 season, Crick was converted to a relief pitcher and moved him to Class AAA where he went 1-2 with a 2.76 ERA in 24 games. He made his Major League debut June 22 vs. the Braves.

“Kyle Crick is a physical, Major League-ready right-handed reliever who brings a high-velocity, live fastball complimented by a quality slider to potentially pitch in a late inning role for the Pirates,” said Huntington. “Kyle’s power arsenal has resulted in a high strikeout rate complimented by inducing a lot of weak contact. After his first exposure to the Major League level last season, Kyle appears ready to take the next steps in what should be a productive career as a high leverage Major League relief pitcher.”

Reynolds, a switch-hitter, has hit .312 (221-for-708) with 43 doubles, 10 triples, 16 home runs, 101 RBI, a .363 on-base percentage, .469 slugging percentage and .832 OPS in 177 games during his first two professional seasons since being selected by San Francisco in the second round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft.

He participated in the All-Star Futures Game this past season while also being named a California League mid-season All-Star. In 121 games with the San Jose Giants in 2017, Reynolds hit .312 (153-for-491) with 26 doubles, nine triples, 10 home runs and 63 RBI.

Reynolds, who is currently ranked as San Francisco’s fourth-best prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, played three seasons at Vanderbilt University while leading the 2014 national championship team in hitting (.338) and slugging percentage (.480) as a freshman.

“Bryan Reynolds is an intelligent, athletic, hard-working baseball prospect who does many things well on a baseball field,” said Huntington. “Bryan is an effective offensive player that also plays quality defense. We look forward to working with Bryan to maximize his tools and help him become a quality well-rounded Major League player who can impact a game in many ways beyond his quality bat.”

The trade comes just over a month after Huntington, at PiratesFest, said the organization would “love Andrew McCutchen to retire a Pirate.” At the same time, Huntington said the club “also wants to win World Series championships. And, at times, those are contradictory goals.”

The trade comes just two days after the Pirates shipped their No. 1 starter Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros for four players.

“Making the right decision for the Pirates organization is at times difficult and, on rare occasions, painful,” Pirates President Frank Coonelly said. “The decision we announce today is both, and particularly the latter. Andrew McCutchen joined the Major League Club in 2009 and immediately became the face of our franchise. He did so with remarkable dignity, grace and maturity. His smile and edge were brilliant and his will to win was second-to-none. While many others made significant contributions as well, no individual was more responsible for the success that we had from 2013 to 2015 than Cutch, and no player was more disappointed than Andrew that we did not break through and win a World Series Championship for the City of Pittsburgh. Andrew’s decision in the spring of 2012 to sign a long-term contract with the Club was a turning point for the organization, as it literally signaled that he believed in what was happening here and that others, both on the Club and elsewhere in baseball, could believe in us as well. Andrew was our unquestioned leader on and off the field, and his on-field accomplishments during his nine seasons here place him among the all-time Pirates greats.”


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