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Monday, March 05, 2012

Pirates, McCutchen agree on new contract

The Pirates and star center fielder Andrew McCutchen agreed to terms on a six-year contract worth $51.5 million with a club option for 2018 worth $14.75 million, according to a source.

The contract will buy out McCutchen’s remaining arbitration seasons and at least two years of free agency.

Good deal for both sides.

Mike Emeigh Posted: March 05, 2012 at 08:24 AM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, pirates

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   1. Xander Posted: March 05, 2012 at 08:41 AM (#4073981)
He's been remarkably consistent over is entire career--both in the majors and minors. He's basically followed the optimal career path of an excellent, but not preternatural first round pick. I have little doubt that both sides will be happy with this contract when it lapses at the end of the 2018 season.
   2. Something Other Posted: March 05, 2012 at 08:52 AM (#4073987)
Yup. He's already a 5 win player at age 24. His OPS+, though, is almost too consistent for a very young player. We tend to think very good, very young players are bound to get better, but that good start is often as good as it gets.

Cot's has McCutchen as a 4 year arb guy. Players with 3 arbitration years get around 40%, 60%, 80%, last I checked. What would McCutchen get?--something like 4, 8, 12, and 16 if he keeps chugging along? The 4th year throws me... don't most guys get close to what a FA with the same numbers would pull down?

Seems like a solid deal with an option year that isn't going to offend anyone.
   3. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 05, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4073996)
The 4th year throws me... don't most guys get close to what a FA with the same numbers would pull down?


Pretty much. Service time comps are a big part of the arb process, and most of the comps for 4th year arb guys will be first year FAs.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 09:23 AM (#4074011)
Seems fair. Good job Buccos!
   5. Russ Posted: March 05, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4074013)
I like that the option gives everyone some space to negotiate a second extension, to keep Cutch a Pirate for his whole career. A great, great, GREAT day for Pirate fans. I would love to hear Cutch's reasons for staying... I know it's a lot of money for 24 year old, but 25 year old athlete's aren't really known for their long-term decision making priorities.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4074019)
Good to see the Pirates investing in young talent. Would be great to see that proud franchise resurrected. They need some of those pitchers to develop though. Erik Bedard ain't part of the future.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 05, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4074028)
This is a great, great contract for the Pirates. McCutchen projects as a 4-WAR player right now, and he's only 24. If you project him as a 4-WAR player going forward, calculating 40/60/80 for his arb years, McCutchen would have deserved 6/90 contract, and that option year is underpriced as well.

I guess these kinds of contracts are usually great - McCutchen gets the economic stability of his first big contract, and the Pirates get a bargain price. And McCutchen will be 31 at the oldest when he hits free agency for the first time, so he hasn't given away a shot at a second payday.

Still, I'd have guessed it would take more like 6/70 to lock up McCutchen.
   8. flournoy Posted: March 05, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4074042)
.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4074047)
Just selfishly, I wonder how this affects the Alex Gordon contract talks. McCutchen has a much better track record, plays a more premium position, and is younger. Gordon is asking 6/$80, the Royals are offering 4/$32, according to rumors. If McCutchen just set the market, it seems Gordon should get something closer to the Royals offer.
   10. Covfefe Posted: March 05, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4074050)
Supernice contract for the Bucs... Add me to the list of people that would have thought it would take more like 6/70 or more to buy out arb AND a couple FA years.
   11. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 05, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4074083)
Really happy to see McCutchen is staying in Pittsburgh for a while. He's the face of that franchise.
   12. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4074098)
Good news all around.
   13. ntr RdP Posted: March 05, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4074144)
Wow! Amity and general concurrence here over a big contract by a small market team. I don't know whether to #### or wind my wristwatch!
   14. Mash Wilson Posted: March 05, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4074155)
That option year is terrific for the Pirates. McCutchen's worth $15 million a season right now. There's a good chance they'll get to keep him around an extra year at a significant bargain price.
   15. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4074185)
I don't know whether to #### or wind my wristwatch!


Why can't you do both?
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4074192)
There's a good chance they'll get to keep him around an extra year at a significant bargain price.

Well, the goal for the Pirates has to be that they are good enough in 2017 that they can extend him again if he's worth the $.
   17. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4074199)
Good deal for both sides.

Is this the official BBTF position? Not trying to pick on Mike here, but I thought that commentary is generally supposed to be in the comments section. Increasingly, commentary is appearing in the intro, which I think runs the risk of an individual poster's comment being interpreted by outsiders as the site's official position.
   18. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 05, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4074216)
I never interpret anything as the site's official position. Commentary in the intro has been a feature here for as long as I can remember, and it's always seemed obvious that it represents the opinion of the person posting the link.
   19. Justin T drives a crooked hoss Posted: March 05, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4074233)
Is this the official BBTF position? Not trying to pick on Mike here, but I thought that commentary is generally supposed to be in the comments section. Increasingly, commentary is appearing in the intro, which I think runs the risk of an individual poster's comment being interpreted by outsiders as the site's official position.

wat
   20. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: March 05, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4074259)
Ages 24 to 30 for 8.5 per for a near elite talent? Good job Buc's!

And my sincere condolences to his agent, who will be fired in 4 years.
   21. Rally Posted: March 05, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4074268)
wat


I hope it's sarcasm and a joke that I'm just not getting. I really can't wrap my head around the idea that BBTF as an entity would need an "official position" regarding a player contract, or that anyone would care what it was or worry about it being confused with the opinion of an individual.
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4074274)
Is this the official BBTF position?


Yes. Yes, it is.

Aren't you glad you asked?
   23. Kyle S at work Posted: March 05, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4074280)
I have always been a fan of his, and I'm happy for him and for the Pirates. I hope that this works out well for both of them. As I've said before, I saw him play as a rookie and he was one of the most exciting, talented rookies I can remember watching. He may not hit tape measure home runs, but he does everything else well. Congratulations Pirates primates!
   24. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: March 05, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4074288)
Wow! Amity and general concurrence here over a big contract by a small market team.

Quick, everybody post in other threads to bury this one on Hot Topics before YR sees it...
   25. Covfefe Posted: March 05, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4074292)
Is this the official BBTF position?



Yes. Yes, it is.


I agree with all of this, as it's well-balanced and thoughtful, based in the most congenial of truths... and so's your mom.
   26. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4074299)
I agree with all of this, as it's well-balanced and thoughtful, based in the most congenial of truths... and so's your mom.


Your mom's well-balanced... on my penis.

Because we're having sex, in case that wasn't clear.
   27. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4074319)
I'm RoyalsRetro, and I approve this thread.
   28. The District Attorney Posted: March 05, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4074328)
Boy, I can't wait to see him on the Mets.
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: March 05, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4074329)
this the official BBTF position? Not trying to pick on Mike here, but I thought that commentary is generally supposed to be in the comments section. Increasingly, commentary is appearing in the intro, which I think runs the risk of an individual poster's comment being interpreted by outsiders as the site's official position.


I generally agree that the lead-in section should be mostly opinion free, this specific instance seems rather benign.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: March 05, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4074369)
Given I thought buying out Maybin's 3 arb years and 1 FA year for $25 M was a pretty good deal for the Padres, buying out 4 arb years and 2 FA years of McCutchen for twice that looks like a great deal. With health, his 4 arb years alone would likely cost $30-40. I don't expect him to improve substantially* but he doesn't need to for this contract to work. Even if he's just average over the life of this deal it's not bad.

*It's not just my usual contrarian pessimism about young punks, ZiPS doesn't expect him to improve either -- projected to a 120 OPS+ for this year, 111 for his career. In fact, McCutchen around age 31/32 will probably not be a guy you want to sign to a big money contract -- defense in CF by that time probably below average and he'll be close to an average corner bat.
   31. Covfefe Posted: March 05, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4074379)
Boy, I can't wait to see him on the Mets.


Finish your Jason Bay first.... your mom said.
   32. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 05, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4074392)
In fact, McCutchen around age 31/32 will probably not be a guy you want to sign to a big money contract -- defense in CF by that time probably below average and he'll be close to an average corner bat.


He'll be the perfect big-money signing to replace Jayson Werth.
   33. Mash Wilson Posted: March 05, 2012 at 06:57 PM (#4074599)
This is the biggest contract the Pirates have ever signed a player to, innit? Pretty sure it's bigger than the Kendall contract, which I think was the previous record.
   34. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4074658)

I generally agree that the lead-in section should be mostly opinion free, this specific instance seems rather benign.

Yes, this instance was benign, which is why I said I wasn't trying to single out Mike. It's just usually by the time I see one of these, we're already 300 posts into a thread on rape or movies, so I figured this was as good a place as any to raise the point.

I hope it's sarcasm and a joke that I'm just not getting. I really can't wrap my head around the idea that BBTF as an entity would need an "official position" regarding a player contract, or that anyone would care what it was or worry about it being confused with the opinion of an individual.

Right, I don't care about this specific example, but it's easy to see an intro that harshly criticizes the writer of the article or the publication in which the article appears, or the team featured in the article. I always thought that the site policy was to keep that stuff in the comments, and I assumed the purpose of the policy was to maintain a credible separation between the comments and the postings themselves. It seemed like a very sensible policy -- especially for a site where some admins also write for the publications we link to or might want to one day be employed by the teams we talk about.

If I'm making this up, or if nobody else agrees/cares, particularly those who run the site, that's fine - I just wanted to raise the point.
   35. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4074668)
Right, I don't care about this specific example, but it's easy to see an intro that harshly criticizes the writer of the article or the publication in which the article appears, or the team featured in the article. I always thought that the site policy was to keep that stuff in the comments, and I assumed the purpose of the policy was to maintain a credible separation between the comments and the postings themselves.


I never thought there was such a policy, and I don't see how anyone would think the postings were the "official" thoughts of BTF, since they're all pretty clearly user submissions.

The only advice in the user-submission form to submit stories is to be funny or provide analysis ("Lead-ins which include humor and/or analysis are preferred over the posting of quotes from the linked article."), so it seems like you're invariably going to include an opinion.
   36. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4074700)

#35 - well they are approved by a site admin before being posted, so I could see someone making that mistake. However, you make an excellent point about the user-submission instructions. I stand corrected and will drop the point.
   37. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 05, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4074705)
#35 - well they are approved by a site admin before being posted, so I could see someone making that mistake. However, you make an excellent point about the user-submission instructions. I stand corrected and will drop the point.


Don't.

Numerous posters have brought this up through the years, and it would be nice to get some guidance from the admins. Not in a case like above, where Mike is simply opining on the deal in a non-polarizing fashion. But when the person linking is insulting the writer or some other individual or group in the lead-in, I think it makes BTF a less inviting place for discussion.
   38. Justin T drives a crooked hoss Posted: March 05, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4074721)
But when the person linking is insulting the writer or some other individual or group in the lead-in, I think it makes BTF a less inviting place for discussion.

Just because you see an opportunity to bend the site to your personal desires doesn't mean it's a subject that needs to be a discussed. There is no policy against commentary in the intros. If there is a policy regarding intro content, it leans toward including commentary. No clarification required.
   39. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 05, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4074725)
But when the person linking is insulting the writer or some other individual or group in the lead-in, I think it makes BTF a less inviting place for discussion.
   40. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4074729)

But when the person linking is insulting the writer or some other individual or group in the lead-in, I think it makes BTF a less inviting place for discussion.


I don't see how. Do people see the users submitting articles as having some sort of authority? I just see the intros as the first comment. If anything, they help facilitate discussion. I guess insulting an individual or group isn't nice, but being nice isn't exactly a requirement for posting comments here.
   41. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 05, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4074737)
Just because you see an opportunity to bend the site to your personal desires doesn't mean it's a subject that needs to be a discussed. There is no policy against commentary in the intros. If there is a policy regarding intro content, it leans toward including commentary. No clarification required.


If that opinion was mine and mine alone, you'd be absolutely right. But this subject, as well as the topic of self-linking and others, has come up before. More important, it will come up again.* Numerous posters share Dave's POV. And numerous posters have railed against self-linking, particularly by non-regulars.

If Jim and co. are OK with these things, fine. You'll never hear another word about it from me. I would simply like to see their POV, because as of right now, it isn't clear at all, and threads can get derailed as a result.

* Note, I didn't bring it up here.

Oh, BTW, go #### yourself.
   42. Mike Emeigh Posted: March 05, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4074741)
Wow, who'd have thought an introductory comment would have drawn such attention.

I tend to treat intros on the things that I post, as AG#1F suggests, as the first comment on the article, leaning toward an analytical approach rather than humor or snark; had I had more time I would have written something a little more detailed but given the type of article it was I didn't see that it was necessary to do so here and I thought it might be better to get it up for discussion quickly.

-- MWE
   43. JoeC Posted: March 05, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4074744)
Thanks SoSH and Dave, I agree with this (well, not the credibility-sucking insult in #41).

I'm a lot less likely to want to contribute, and the thread's a lot less likely to be worth contributing to, when the intro is "Yep, Plaschke is still an idiot!" or some such.

(And for what it's worth, I think it's a great deal for the Bucs and McCutchen left money on the table. Maybe he could have at least gotten a Mike Sweeney-esque escape clause.)
   44. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 10:40 PM (#4074752)

If Jim and co. are OK with these things, fine. You'll never hear another word about it from me. I would simply like to see their POV, because as of right now, it isn't clear at all, and threads can get derailed as a result.


I think the absence of a policy is their policy. Jim seems pretty laissez-faire about this site and doesn't seem to micromanage at all, and I think that's probably the right approach.

I get what you guys are saying about having intros that are snarky, but I don't know where you draw the line at that, or who polices it. Its either allow intros and the snarkiness, or don't have intros at all. Ultimately I think having intros is fine. We're adults and if you don't agree with the intro, say so. I don't see why someone would be less likely to post simply because they disagree wit the intro.

IMO, the problem isn't that intros say "Plaschke's still an idiot", its that too many Plaschke articles are being linked. But its like the Simpsons sang "just don't look" and those articles won't be posted as much.
   45. tshipman Posted: March 05, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4074759)
This actually isn't a very good deal for McCutcheon. I think signing a deal that doesn't factor salary inflation at all is a bad signing.

He's losing a considerable amount of money on the Arb years, let alone the free agent years. The option year is really bad.
   46. Something Other Posted: March 07, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4076409)
Wait--this

Good deal for both sides.


is what's causing the fracas?
   47. philistine Posted: March 08, 2012 at 05:22 AM (#4076614)
I often raise this sort of thing, but for once I wanted to hear a discussion about baseball and Cutch's role and value to the Pirates.

I wonder how Starling Marte affects this deal. He had a breakout year in AA and is now on a hot streak in the ST games. Accounts say his defense is superior to Cutch's so could we see Starling in center from 2013 onwards? Mike, do you think this is likely or will they stick with Andrew in center? How would moving Andrew to a corner affect his value?

I don't know whether Marte is for real or not. He looks great to me, but I am no Emeigh. It seems to me if he were a year younger, he'd be one of the hottest prospects in baseball, instead of being ranked in the 50-80 range. I think the Pirates used to hold their prospects back a year or so, is that still the case?
   48. Russ Posted: March 08, 2012 at 05:51 AM (#4076617)
I think the Pirates used to hold their prospects back a year or so, is that still the case?


In most cases, yes. I find the Pirates to be terribly conservative promoters, although I don't have a very global view of what everyone else is doing. And it's hard to say whether they are actually slow at promoting guys because they have tended, in the last *20* years, to not have many players in the system who were worth promoting at all, let alone on a fast time table. McCutchen got up to the bigs pretty fast, but in general, I think one could say that they're not FAST promoters (although they may not be slow either).

   49. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: March 08, 2012 at 05:56 AM (#4076619)
This actually isn't a very good deal for McCutcheon. I think signing a deal that doesn't factor salary inflation at all is a bad signing.

He's losing a considerable amount of money on the Arb years, let alone the free agent years. The option year is really bad.


This conversation has been had here before, so I'll just say I disagree. Maybe McCutchen could have gotten another $5-10 million from the Pirates right now, but if I were him, I'd definitely be willing to give a discount on whatever my median projected earnings might be in return for the peace of mind and security of having the deal done.
   50. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 08, 2012 at 06:01 AM (#4076620)
This is the biggest contract the Pirates have ever signed a player to, innit? Pretty sure it's bigger than the Kendall contract, which I think was the previous record.


No, Kendall was bigger, unless you count McCutchen's option. 6 years and $60M.

IMO, the problem isn't that intros say "Plaschke's still an idiot", its that too many Plaschke articles are being linked. But its like the Simpsons sang "just don't look" and those articles won't be posted as much.


Yes, exactly. If we never posted another stupid piece by Plaschke or Simers or Blogger Chass, I'd be over the moon. The intros aren't what's dragging down the discussion there - the content is.
   51. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 08, 2012 at 06:03 AM (#4076622)
I don't know whether Marte is for real or not.


Depends what you mean by "for real", I think. He's legitimately good at hitting for average and playing D, but I don't know that he'll ever have all that much power.
   52. Darren Posted: March 08, 2012 at 09:05 AM (#4076655)
Finish your Jason Bay first.... your mom said.


But I already did. Look at the plate--he's all gone!
   53. Something Other Posted: March 09, 2012 at 05:13 AM (#4077360)
This conversation has been had here before, so I'll just say I disagree. Maybe McCutchen could have gotten another $5-10 million from the Pirates right now, but if I were him, I'd definitely be willing to give a discount on whatever my median projected earnings might be in return for the peace of mind and security of having the deal done.
Add to that the peace of mind of knowing you'll never have a single pressure at-bat until at least 2018 and it's pure gold!

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