St. Louis Cardinals: Does Andrew McCutchen make sense?

Kyle Jasper
St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates
St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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Going into the 2023 season, the St. Louis Cardinals will be sporting one of the youngest outfields in all of baseball. With the loss of Corey Dickerson, getting veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen with still a bit of pop in his bat could pay massive dividends in more ways than one.

Andrew McCutchen, 36, spent the 2022 season with division rival Milwaukee Brewers. His advanced stats from last year were fairly similar in the first half and second half but his average did dip from .255 to .211 but his on-base percentage remained nearly identical. He remains an elite at-bat taker as he ranks in the 92nd percentile in chase rate and is also in the 90th percentile for sprint speed, even at the age of 36. While he did take an offensive dip from 2021 to 2022 as he stepped below 100 wRC+ for the first time in his career, I believe that he could be in a great spot for a bounce-back year.

The 5x All-Star and 2013 NL MVP is well respected in each community he plays for. He received the 2015 Roberto Clemente Award for his charitable contributions. An article from MLB.com stated, "He and Pirates Charities founded 'Cutch's Crew,' his signature program, in 2010 to mentor Pittsburgh's inner-city youth baseball players and at-risk children. He also supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, the Homeless Children's Education Fund, the Light of Life Rescue Mission, and Habitat for Humanity, among others." McCutchen is 1 of 7 current players to win the Roberto Clemente Award.

Adding McCutchen to the outfield would add some stability and a veteran presence to a very young outfield. The current plethora of outfielders the Cardinals have on the 40-man roster are Alec Burleson (24), Dylan Carlson (24), Moises Gomez (24), Lars Nootbaar (25), Tyler O'Neill (27), and Juan Yepez (24). The oldest is Tyler O'Neill, but injuries plagued his season, and who really knows what to expect from him? I think this low-risk move is worth considering and he is most likely looking for a 1-year deal. He signed a 1 year/8.5 million dollar deal last year with the Brewers, so something slightly lower than that is what he is most likely expecting for this offseason. He would most likely be taking over the Corey Dickerson role and his contract last year was 1 year/5 million. If McCutchen is willing to take on a sporadic role while also being a competing team mentor, I think this deal could be great for both sides.

I think that getting McCutchen in sparingly in spots that best suit him while also helping out the youngsters is something that is in his best interest. I doubt McCutchen is looking for an everyday job this late in his career. With the DH being added last year, it's a great opportunity to get his bat in the lineup without having to run him out to the outfield on a daily basis. Who knows if McCutchen is even interested in becoming a Cardinal as St. Louis has been such a strong rival to him for most of his career. I believe it is time for McCutchen to indulge in toasted raviolis and gooey butter cake and see what St. Louis has to offer him.

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