On Thursday, one day before the waiver trade deadline, the San Francisco Giants agreed to trade former National League MVP Andrew McCutchen to the Yankees. The full trade details are as follows:
OF Andrew McCutchen, Cash Considerations
INF Abiatal Avelino, RHP Juan De Paula
This season, McCutchen is slashing .255/.357/.415. These numbers are down compared to his career averages of .288/.377/.481. However, going from a losing team, to the team with the second best record in baseball, could rejuvenate the former MVP. This season, McCutchen ranked first on the Giants in home runs with 15, which would rank 7th on the Yankees roster. A change of scenery could be huge for McCutchen, as he brings a huge clubhouse presence to a team that was said to be “not having fun” by Pedro Martinez. Although I don’t buy it, McCutchen could put an end to those who believe it. McCutchen could play the role of energizer, much like Todd Frazier did last year when they Yankees acquired him from the White Sox. Along with McCutchen, the Giants are sending cash to the Yankees in the form of $1.2 million, which is half of the $2.4 million owed to McCutchen throughout the rest of the season, keeping the Yankees below the luxury tax threshold.
The Yankees are sending Abital Avelino (#23 MLB Pipeline), who has 15 home runs and is slashing .287/.333/.446 this season with AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Avelino, however did not have a future with this Yankees ballclub, as he is an MLB ready talent, but with New York’s loaded infield, he is better suited to get time and experience in San Francisco. Along with Avelino, the Yankees are sending RHP Juan De Paula (#26 MLB Pipeline) who has been impressive this season with low-A Staten Island. The 20 year-old had a 1.71 ERA in 10 appearances this season. A pretty solid haul for the Giants who are giving up an expiring contract that has just one month left.
Many Yankees fans are worrying that this means the end of Aaron Judge for this season. However, being 8 1/2 games back of the Red Sox, Brian Cashman is smart enough to realize that likely, they will be hosting the AL Wild Card Game. I am under the impression that Judge will be back, but granted how far back they are in the AL East, they are likely just being cautious with Judge. I anticipate him being back by late September. Until then, McCutchen will provide much better quality in the Yankees struggling outfield. Shane Robinson (who?) has played a considerable amount since Judge went down, and quite frankly, he stinks. He shouldn’t be on an MLB roster and he is playing 4 times a week for a team 34 games over .500. The acquisition of McCutchen will provide the Yankees with the right handed outfield bat they have missed since Judge went down with injury. Since the Judge injury, the Yankees right fielders (Stanton as DH) have been last in the majors in batting average, 29th in OBP and 29th in slugging. Pretty huge drop off compared to what Judge provided. Again, this does not mean the end of Judge for the Year, as when Judge gets back, McCutchen can replaces the struggling Brett Gardner in left field and the Yankees lineup can make a deep run into the playoffs as they continue the chase for 28.
Another huge thing to consider is who the AL Wild Card opponent will likely be: The Oakland A’s. They will probably throw Mike Fiers in this game, and alongside Giancarlo Stanton wanting his head, McCutchen is batting .316/.350/.947 with four home runs off of Fiers in his career. Another huge reason the Yankees went out and got McCutchen. Overall, its another great move by Brian Cashman, the only question is, why not sooner? However, McCutchen will be a staple in the Yankees lineup for the rest of the season.
McCutchen will wear number 26 with the Yankees.