Pittsburgh Pirates Wake Up Call – Offseason Options

In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.

The obvious choice

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced today that they have picked up Andrew McCutchen’s 2018 option. This move is not very surprising as it was obvious the Pirates weren’t just going to let their star center fielder go. Not without at least getting some prospects in return!

Unless something really unexpected happens, 2018 will be Andrew McCutchen’s last as a Pittsburgh Pirate. The Pirates spent a bulk of last offseason attempting to trade McCutchen or simply “listening to offers” if you are to believe Neal Huntington. Coming off a 28 home run .279/.363/.486/.849 season if the Pirates attempt to trade McCutchen, they should have some more luck than they did last offseason.

The return on a would-be McCutchen trade could be somewhat substantial but with only one year left on his current contract, I don’t expect it would be franchise-altering. When you trade your franchise player, it should be a game-changer. Unless a big market team does something fairly stupid, I don’t expect the Pirates will get a worthy return in any potential trade.

STEEEEEEW

The Pittsburgh Pirates also announced that they declined the 2018 option on Chris Stewart. For most fans, this isn’t really bad news as Stewart had a fairly terrible 2017 season. However, he was a very solid defensive catcher and did some great work with the team’s young pitchers.

The Pirates need to get younger, which makes this move the correct one. Stewart is an aging catcher with declining skills so he really doesn’t fit the team’s needs anymore. I know most people have recency bias when it comes to athletes but Chris Stewart had some pretty great moments as a Pirate.

When I think of Chris Stewart’s Pirates’ career, I think of this game-tying base hit against the Cardinals. People will forever remember this game for Andrew McCutchen’s iconic walk-off home run but the star center fielder wouldn’t have gotten that chance without Chris Stewart coming to the rescue first.

Moving on from Stewart is the right move and I doubt many will miss him next season but Chris Stewart got everything he could out of his talent. The man played Big League Baseball for 11 years. No one can ever take that away from him. Here’s to you, Stew, I wish you nothing but the best in 2018 and beyond.

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Steve Kubitz

Steve Kubitz was born and raised in the Stanton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. He is a long time and annoyingly positive baseball fan. He bought into the Pirates' 5-year-plan before it was cool. He is best known for staying calm about losing streaks on twitter and trying his best to make sure other fans don’t overreact to when the Pirates lose a tough ballgame to a division rival. The only thing he isn’t positive about is the wave during close ballgames.
  • redrage97

    Hopefully the resign stewart… but its hard to imagine. If they where not willing to pay him 1.5M i don’t see them willing to pay him 800k (league minimum + his buy out) With Francisco’s injury history they’re going to need a third catcher, assuming they don’t make another move.

    Also Wade, with the holes in the pen keeping him around would have been nice for an inning eater and in case they couldn’t get anyone else in the off season.