The day many Pittsburgh Pirates fans have dreaded has come to pass. Andrew McCutchen will no longer patrol center-field in PNC Park. The club has traded him to the Giants
Pittsburgh Pirates fans were just coming to grips with the trade to send Gerrit Cole to the Astros, and now they will have to go through a grieving process all over again, as the club has reportedly traded Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants.
— Robert Murray (@RobertMurrayFRS) January 15, 2018
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 15, 2018
UPDATE TWO: the other piece coming to the Pittsburgh Pirates will reportedly be OF Bryan Reynolds, the club’s #4 prospect:
Confirmed: Bryan Reynolds and Kyle Crick to Pittsburgh for McCutchen. Unclear if there is any money being exchanged. Doesn't appear to be.
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) January 15, 2018
Reynolds is a switch-hitting outfielder that was a second round pick (59th overall) of the Giants back in 2016. He rates as a 50-grade prospect overall, with 50 grades in the hit and power tools, as per MLB Pipeline. He reached Advanced-A ball last season, and performed well, slashing .312/.364/.462. His game power may improve with the right adjustments, a la Colin Moran, and the Giants had faith that he could make the right adjustments to at least tap into 15 HR power.
At just 22 years old, Reynolds already shows a fair amount of patience with a 19.6 percent strikeout rate in his first full season of “competitive” ball. His ultimate destination appears to be in left-field, due to a poorly rated arm.
UPDATE: RHP Kyle Crick, San Francisco’s #16 prospect, is seemingly coming over in the deal, along with one other piece.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 15, 2018
Well that escalated quickly. Appreciate the @SFGiants and its very large fan base for always staying behind me. Y'all are awesome.
— Kyle Crick (@K_Crick49) January 15, 2018
Crick was formally the Giant’s top overall prospect as recently as 2013. A right-handed pitcher, Crick has a 70-grade fastball and a plus slider at 55, but lacks control with a 45 grade. More from MLB PIPELINE:
After signing Crick for $900,000 as a supplemental first-rounder in 2011, the Giants compared him to Matt Cain, and within a year, he ranked as the best prospect in the organization. But after overpowering hitters in the lower levels of the Minors, he stalled in Double-A and averaged 6.7 walks per nine innings there from 2014-16. Crick became a full-time reliever while finally making the jump to Triple-A this year, performing well enough to earn a call to San Francisco in late June. Crick’s best pitch has always has been his fastball, which sits at 94-97 mph and approaches 100 in shorter stints. He also can mix in a two-seamer with less velocity and heavy sink. Crick has improved his 82-85 mph slider, which has more bite and is landing in the strike zone more often. Crick hasn’t shown much feel for his changeup, but he doesn’t need it much out of the bullpen. He still lacks consistent control. but he is throwing enough strikes to be effective. If crick can continue to get better at harnessing his stuff, he could become a high-leverage reliever.
We will update this post as more information becomes available. For now, here is a look at McCutchen’s time with the Pittsburgh Pirates, where has spent the entirety of his career to this point:
HERE NOW is an exceprt from our recent analysis piece on how the two teams line up as trade partners, published after the Giants traded valuable prospects to the Rays for Evan Longoria:
How do the Giants matchup as trade partners?
Honestly, not good.
The Giants dealt highly regarded infielder Christian Arroyo in last month’s trade with the Rays for Evan Longoria, meaning there is not much to like from a farm system that really isn’t that great to begin with.
Outfielder Heliot Ramos, outfielder/first baseman Chris Shaw, and right-hander Tyler Beede and San Francisco’s top three prospects and judging by what the Bucs have reportedly asked for Cutch in the past, it will likely take one or two of those to even get talks heated up.
Shaw has big power potential and Ramos, a 2017 first-round pick, could be a potential superstar with excellent power and speed. You would think since Neal Huntington was not budging from Victor Robles in a potential deal that could have sent McCutchen to the Washington Nationals last season, Ramos would have to be part of any deal.
Ramos is likely at least three years away from making the majors, so keep that in mind.
Shaw, who hit 24 homers last season in the minors, should make his MLB debut this season.
As for Beede, he can hit 97 at times with his fastball and also has a nice changeup, curveball and cutter. He should be close to being big-league ready.
Other than that, there’s not a whole heck of a lot to like about a package the Giants can offer.