Pirates Extend Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen is officially the face of the Pirates through at least 2017.  The team announced his new six-year contract today, which reportedly guarantees $51.5MM and has a seventh year club option.  Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has the salary breakdown.

McCutchen's contract buys out his final pre-arbitration year, all three arbitration years, and a pair of free agent seasons with a club option for another. The Pirates now control their young superstar through the 2017 or 2018, having previously controlled him through 2015.


The 25-year-old, represented by Steve Hammond of Aegis Sports Management, has just two fewer days of service time than Jay Bruce did when he signed nearly the same deal — six years and $51MM. Likewise, Justin Upton had less than three years of service time when the Diamondbacks locked him up for six years and $51.25MM. The Pirates, like the Reds, were able to secure a club option, which Arizona failed to do in Upton's case.  MLBTR's Tim Dierkes examined McCutchen's case last May, noting how he'd played significantly more games than Upton and deserved at least as much money.

Pittsburgh selected McCutchen with the 11th overall pick in the 2005 draft. He debuted as a 22-year-old in 2009, and has since tallied 420 big league games while hitting a strong .276/.365/.458 with 51 homers and 78 steals. Ultimate zone rating hasn't been kind to McCutchen's defense thus far in his career, but he did post a positive mark for the first time in 2011, checking in with a UZR/150 of +3.3.

The Pirates have long been interested in locking McCutchen up, and now should have two-thirds of their outfield set for many years. Last August, the team secured a multi-year deal with Jose Tabata as well, inking a six-year guarantee with club options that run through the 2019 season.

As MLBTR's Transaction Tracker shows, general manager Neal Huntington has architected multi-year deals in the past for Tabata, Nate McLouth, Freddy Sanchez, Paul Maholm, Matt Capps, and Ian Snell, though none of those deals were anywhere near this magnitude. McCutchen's guarantee falls just shy of Jason Kendall's record for the largest contract in franchise history; Kendall received $60MM over six years back in November of 2000.

Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first broke news of McCutchen's contract Sunday night.  Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.

133 Responses to Pirates Extend Andrew McCutchen Leave a Reply

  1. I’m crying manly tears of joy right now

  2. Good for Pittsburgh. McCutchen’s a rare mix of raw talent, refined skills, and being lots of fun to watch. He’s a superstar and it’s nice to see a team that’s had a horrendous run and failed to produce or keep many stars lock one up.

  3. Henduck 3 years ago


  4. This is a steal for such a good player, great work by the Pirates front office on this one. 

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      yea, he could have gotten so much more money if he waited.  but i guess he is going for contract security rather than a long term paycheck. 

  5. Snoochies8 3 years ago

    congratulations pirates, good deal

    • JTT11 3 years ago

      This is a great deal on so many levels.  First it shows the fans that ownership cares about the players and the team.  Second, it keeps the face of the franchise.  Third, it shows that ownership is willing to spend money to lock up young talent.  lastly – it gives fans a player to love.

      A friend of mine is a pitt resident and has a young son (7 years old) that loves to go to baseball games.  The father has been very reluctant to buy his boy a jersey because once a player gets good, they end up leaving.  He doesnt want his boy to become attached to a player only to have him leave.  Last night he texted me to ask what size McCutch jersey he should get him.  (he was worried about the jersey shrinking in the wash)

      This is a really big deal to many guys in philadelphia, especially those with young boys.  The pirates are the only team in Pitt that a father can bring his boy to at an affordable price.  Going to see the steelers or the pens play is just too difficult; both financially and logistically.  (if you dont believe me take a trip out to pitt and try and find a steelers ticket.)  Having a good player that will be part of the team for the next 6 years is a really big deal.

      Hats off to Pitt.

      • redsx968 3 years ago

        well that was a sufficiently dramatic reaction to the trade…

  6. Just as a reference, I’m going to kick a puppy every time someone posts about “McCutcheon” on here.

  7. letsgogiants 3 years ago

    Good sign for the Pirates. McCutchen is a huge talent and I would consider him as being the face of this Pirates franchise. It’ll be interesting to see what numbers he puts up as he reaches his prime. Not before long will he become one of the best all around players in the game with the five-star potential he has.

  8. Kurisu Rg 3 years ago

    Congratulations Pirates and Pirates fans. You guys will get to enjoy one of the best young hitters in baseball for a while.

  9. Terrific deal. Well done Pirates. Finally on the right track

  10. Henduck 3 years ago

    With the Pirates luck, there will be a mix up in the paperwork and this deal will go to Daniel McCuthen instead.

  11. I’m a Reds fan and i find this awesome for the Pirates and their fans. Congrats guys you deserve to win!

    • Stop being so nice. I want to continue to loathe the Reds as a Pirates fan, haha. 😉

      • bighiggy 3 years ago

        dude im a cards fan and this rocks for pittsburgh, im excited to see pittsburgh hang on their young talent and not trade it away, looking forward to 3 years from now when you guys may be contenders!

        • more of the “trading away the young talent” nonsense, hmmmmm????

          • Todd Smith 3 years ago

            You know.  Young talent.  Like Nyjer Morgan and Eric Hinske.

          • nate mclouth, jason bay, freddy sanchez, jack wilson, aramis ramirez….

          • Wait…Bay, Wilson and Sanchez were young?  ARam was under a totally different OWNERSHIP group and McClouth brought us Morton.

            So yeah, what dumping of young talent?

          • shakeweight22 3 years ago

            yea it has really hurt watching all those guys bloosom into stars since they left…..

          • bighiggy 3 years ago

            i was mainly talking about guys like randal simon! just kidding, but you guys have had some decent people that you have traded away for barely anything, its just nice to see you guys hang on to andrew and tabata. i loved the 80’s when i use to go to cards games when you guys had bonds and bonilla and van slyke, doug drabek… it just hasnt been as fun recently

          • Todd Smith 3 years ago

            The only one you can even make a slight argument that it was a mistake to trade away would be Ramirez…and that was 9 years ago.

            The Red Sox trade away all their good players too.  Like Babe Ruth.

  12. Glad to see the Pirates finally keep one of their stars. Exciting player.

    • name another legitimate “star” that we failed to keep and i will post a sensible rebuttal

      • FS54 3 years ago

        Barry Bonds

      • BDLugz 3 years ago

        Aramis Ramirez

      • bighiggy 3 years ago

        bay has sucked recently but that guy put up some good numbers in san fran, he looked destined for stardom, no one expected that collapse! what about bobby bonilla :)

  13. FacelessGeneralManager 3 years ago

    Not a pirates fan, (more of a pirates rooter forer) but AWESOME!!!!!!!! Glad to see the pirates doing this. Nice move by them.

  14. Look out Jay’s fans, Rasmus is going to think he deserves a contract like this….BTW he doesn’t.

    • Rasmus hasn’t done even remotely close to what McCutchen has, I really doubt it.

      • Ferrariman 3 years ago

        i mean, offensively his 2010 was as good or better than any of Andrew’s seasons offensively.  That said, rasmus in no way deserves a 51mil guaranteed deal.

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      the only similarity between the two is the position they play.

  15. bigpat 3 years ago

    Hell freaking yes!!! Cutch is staying where he belongs!!! Time to bring the glory back to Pittsburgh once he hits his prime. Raise that Jolly Rodger!

  16. jaryl612 3 years ago

    Does anyone on planet Earth dislike McCutchen?  If I ranked baseball players in terms of likability, it’d be 
    1. Pablo Sandoval
    1. Andrew McCutchen
    3. Who cares
    4-1,000,000 everyone else.

    • lefty177 3 years ago

      #3 for me would have to be Ryan Zimmerman

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      Mariano and Roy Halladay have to be on that list.

      • MB923 3 years ago

        Don’t mean to be a homer, but Curtis Granderson can be up there.

      • jaryl612 3 years ago

        Meh, not nearly as gregarious as others.  Mo seems friendly enough, but Halladay a bit dull.

      • FacelessGeneralManager 3 years ago

        Halladay plays for philly, so naturally, he can’t be on that list.

      • Backup_Slider 3 years ago

        Halladay is waaayyy more popular in Canada than he is in the US. 

      • metsman 3 years ago

        Halladay? the guy has no emotion, he almost beat out Arnold in casting as the terminator.

    • Tony DiQuattro 3 years ago

      Sandoval seems like a really likeable guy but he’s kind of arrogant and big headed. But you can save the “AND big bellied” jokes.

      • jaryl612 3 years ago

        Never thought of him as arrogant.  He has the “infectious enthusiasm”.  For example, anytime the Giants have every had a walkoff win, he’s the first one on the field.  Just seems like a great teammate.

      • Jason_F 3 years ago

        I don’t know what you’ve ever seen that would suggest that, but I disagree 100%. The only thing that might lead you to that conclusion is his silly pre at bat routine. Other than that, all signs point to Sandoval being a great guy and a fantastic teammate. I think you are way off with this assertion.

        • Tony DiQuattro 3 years ago

          He always acts like he has something better to do while giving autographs at Fanfest, I’ve seen him playing around on his phone for half the time on stage during an interview.  I’ve heard from a friend that at one of the lunch benefits (where people pay/donate quite a bit of money to mingle with players and get autographs) that he was outside on his phone most of the time and wouldn’t sign things for kids.

    • MB923 3 years ago

      What? No Carlos Zambrano? No Nyjer Morgan?

    • Guest 3 years ago


    • guydavis 3 years ago

       RA Dickey, come on. Who doesn’t love a philosophical knuckleballer?

  17. silverwidow 3 years ago

    This is one of the best deals in recent memory, anywhere.

  18. nats2012 3 years ago

    Great move by the Pirates, McCutchen is star.

  19. $22264602 3 years ago

    I wouldn’t be to happy Pirates fans , this contract isn’t just great for the pirates , anyones who looking to trade for him loves the contract as well… I know i know im ruining it.

    •  it would have to be an overpayment by ANYONE who offers for him, especially with that contract.  he means more to the Pirates than you think.

    • Onetimeaccount 3 years ago

      You’re acting like the pirates don’t get anything in return if he’s traded.

  20. It depends how you mean. As a talent, almost every baseball fan salivates over him.
    As a person, I would say I’m indifferent.
    As a player and how he carries himself on the field, I would say I dislike him: he showboats in the outfield, which costs runs; takes games off (metaphorically but not literally); refuses to steal as often as he should; tries to hit home runs far too often; and too often acts with an error of confidence instead of the air of confidence.

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      yet you like max talbot enough to use him as your avatar?


    • I’d be curious to see some evidence to back up those claims.

    • Ron Loreski 3 years ago

      I’ll agree that McCutchen is overrated. His fielding to me is a joke. He can make some spectacular plays, but then he makes some real bone-headed plays trying to be cute.

      • Clutch mCutch 3 years ago

        Agree but he is still better than all the other guys

    • $5822868 3 years ago

      If the Bucs could find some power elsewhere then McCutchen could lead-off and the he could utilize his abilities to the fullest.

  21. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    I would have thought he’d get more, a lot more.

  22. Great job by the Pirates.

  23. ukJaysfan 3 years ago

    I really hope this pans out for Pittsburgh.  It would be great to have that city amongst competitive teams again.  The only thing that worries me is if the player goes the way Alex Rios did after his arbitration/FA covering contract.  Not every long term signing ends up being team friendly.

    • melonis_rex 3 years ago

      Aaaand that’s when you dump his contract on another team that still believes in his promise, ala Rios and Wells. 

  24. California_RedBirds 3 years ago

    Good for the Pirates. If they would have lost their franchise player to free agency, the franchise would have taken a huge hit and they can’t afford that right now as they are transitioning to fight for the division in the next couple years.

  25. zak1993 3 years ago

    So McCutchen and Tabata here for a long time, Marte will likely be called up and hopefully hit, hit, hit. Makes me wonder if we’re gonna start trading Grossman, Presley, Hernandez etc.

    • Ron Loreski 3 years ago

      Actually, I would trade Tabata first. His contract is very tradable and I think you would get a really good return for him. If Presley ends up being the lead-off hitter, it just seems like Tabata won’t fit.

      • Backup_Slider 3 years ago

        The Tabata extension still looks strange. It has some parallels to the recent Padres-Maybin extension in that the club seems to be purchasing insurance against what seems to be a very unlikely outcome- that the player will develop into an All-Star or better talent. My hunch is that Starling Marte and some other guy, perhaps Grossman, will make Tabata and his contract obsolete by the time that his club option years crop up. I just haven’t seen enough hitting ability, power, or speed from Tabata to think that he’ll amount to anything beyond a 4th outfielder over the long haul.

    • $5822868 3 years ago

      The Bucs next project is to ink Neil Walker.

      • Backup_Slider 3 years ago

        There’s really no sense of urgency to extend a player like Neil Walker. He’s signed through 2016, very unlikely to blossom into a superstar, and thus won’t cost the club much in arbitration over 2013-6 (or even when he would hit free agency prior to 2017). A totally different scenario from the Andrew McCutchen one.

        • $5822868 3 years ago

          Walker is a neccesary player for the Bucs to become a relavent team again. In that he slodifies the defense where solid defensive performance is as important as offensive ability.

          • Backup_Slider 3 years ago

            I agree, but I still see no pressing reason to extend him. The only benefit I can see in it is the positive public relations that could be leveraged by signing a local kid to a bigger deal than he would probably get otherwise. Personally, I’d wait out at least two-thirds this season and see how he performs before making a long-term financial commitment to a guy who may well end up being a super-utility bench type player. 

          • $5822868 3 years ago

            I didn’t mean it had to be done now. Walker has only been playing second since last spring ,at least on a regular basis, so he potentially is going to improve. Besides that the Bucs don’t have a real option in their system.

      • rizdak 3 years ago

        They need to trade for the Dodgers’ Scott van Slyke to play RF. That would be some kind of funny cool.

        • $5822868 3 years ago

          The Bucs don.t need any more career minor leaugers regardless of their name. What they need is to sign FAs who can help them become relavent,

    • well those outfielders could heklp shore up a weakness such as the blackhole at ss clint barmes i think will rebound but hes not longterm. barmes was amzing with clint hurdle a few years ago but he got iunjured some kid named tulowitzki claimed his job and barmes bin in a tailspin since. im predicting barmes having 280 ba, 15-20 homers, 40 doubles, 70-80 rbis, 15 steals and hes a decent glove…gonna be one of most underrated signings of offseason…if bedard stays healthy and burnett gets back quickly and performs ..pirates will push for wildcard 

  26. MrBaseball29 3 years ago

    He’ll be a Yankee soon

    • MB923 3 years ago

      Maybe in 7-8 years but I hope he remains a Pirate

    • $5822868 3 years ago

      Only if they have 6 or 7 Tabata-caliber prospects.

    • rayking 3 years ago

      Based on the Nady/Marte trade, Pittsburgh fans should hope for that.

  27. The Pirates can pull this deal off, but the Red Sox couldn’t nail down Papelbon? 

    • ellisburks 3 years ago

      Two totally different deals. Pap wanted to go year to year and had the right agent to do that. And it worked out for him getting big arbitration deals and then going to Phillie for more money than he would have gotten elsewhere. And the Sox now have Bailey who will be good for them and cheaper.

      • lefty177 3 years ago

        & also Pap wanted to set the record for future closers for most money in 1 contract & the Sox basically said forget that we’ll get someone else for a fraction of the cost

    • InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

      The Papelbon deal is awful. I’m sure they’re glad they didn’t pay him that much

  28. Speaking as a Red/Red Sox fan, I love McCutchen. Not as potential trade bait like some MYFs suggest. Having watched him play is a treat.  I like this as much as I liked the Jay Bruce deal. Good all over.

  29. MB923 3 years ago

    This might be the first time I’ve ever said this – Good job Pirates.

  30. awesome deal for Pittsburgh. I know that McCutchen is years away from being a FA but he could easily get 140/7 on the open market if he keeps on performing the way he does.

  31. Smrtbusnisman04 3 years ago

    FAN-TA-STIC!!! Here’s to a good seven years.

  32. BooJays33 3 years ago

    imagine if the other 1/3 of that locked up outfield was Jose Bautista.  regardless its the right deal for both sides…AM gets his guarenteed life changing money PIT gets to lock up their franchise player.

  33. Red_Line_9 3 years ago

    This contract should pay McCuthen like the player he’s capable of being on the next Pirate post season team.  It’s the pay of a B+ player.  Realistically…as the Pirates get better…he should shrink back in the mix a bit. He needs to be playing the Jay Bruce to the Pirates version of Joey Votto.

  34. therayway 3 years ago

    wow check out the Pirates acting like a progressive and competent ball club.  Congrats.

  35. swankwank 3 years ago

    What is the point they are just going to trade him to a real mlb team for scrap prospects.

    • Todd Smith 3 years ago

      I know.  Like that time the Pirates traded Jeff Suppan to the Red Sox for Freddy Sanchez.  Or that time the Pirates traded away Nate McLouth for Charlie Morton.  Or that time the Pirates traded away Xavier Nady for Jose Tabata.  Or that time the Pirates traded away Ricardo Rincon for Brian Giles.

      Clearly, the Pirates are always trading away superstars and not getting anything good back in return.  It’s true because I heard it on the internet.

    • You are the weakest link, goodbye.

  36. jeffmaz 3 years ago

    this makes the Padres deal for Maybin look cheap – same length for $33 mil.
    the Pirates overpaid big time

    • Todd Smith 3 years ago

      The difference is, the Pirates get Andrew McCutchen in their deal, instead of Cameron Maybin.  Makes it look more like a bargain for the Pirates.

  37. Bob George 3 years ago

    Nice move by the Bucs. I’d love to see the smaller market teams be able to lock up their good young players long term instead of just be a farm team for the big market teams. (and I’m a big market Chicago fan)

  38. McCutchen can actually hit…so yeah

  39. Rabbitov 3 years ago

    Bad comparison, but right idea.  These team friendly deals on young players are always good, and Maybin is a good fit for the Padres. 

  40. LayerCake 3 years ago

    Lets not do this here.

  41. McCutchen’s a better player, but check out Maybin’s road numbers for San Diego before you make it seem like he can’t hit. Don’t hold Petco against him.

  42. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

     I like the chipper.. but he’s not on that list

  43. Stark2k 3 years ago

    Psst, you ever heard of these things called “defense” and “baserunning”?

    Anything approaching a mediocre 1b’s bat as an athletic centerfielder is a great player.

  44. stl_cards16 3 years ago

    That’s funny because for the last week all I’ve read on here was how Molina’s extension was an overpay because teams don’t pay for defense and things like that.

  45. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    adam jones is raw and unrefined. if his game were less raw and more refined, he’d be a star like andrew mccutchen

  46. stl_cards16 3 years ago

    They paid him what they thought he was worth because they learned their lesson that if you let someone hit free agency, all it takes is one team to blow it up for you.  So they paid market value and now they don’t have to worry about it.

    I find it funny, everyone likes to find something to complain about the Cardinals.  Go back and look at the comments on articles when Yadi and the Cardinals were not close to an extension and it was rumored they were offering around $10MM/year.  Everyone was saying how the Cardinals think they can get everyone on the cheap and blah blah blah.  Then they pay up for a key part of the team and everyone has a problem with that.

  47. Thomas Wilson 3 years ago

    not to mention how massive his H/R split was with a 134 wRC+ on the road last year

  48. Stark2k 3 years ago

    You word it as if a slightly below average CF has less defensive value than a slightly above average 1b.

    You don’t have to be a great centerfielder to have very high defensive value.  Merely being a competent centerfielder is excellent defensive value, which most reports seem to have McCutchen as. If he gets moved to a corner at a later date there’s he should be above average there.

  49. Stark2k 3 years ago

    Sounds like that discussion was about paying above market value due to the market not rewarding defense, not the player actually being overrated.  Kind of irrelevant. 

    McCutchens still got a career .823 ops anyway, so hes hardly all defense.

  50. Brendan Haglund 3 years ago

    I find it funny how a Cardinals fan manages to come into every discussion and:

    A) Turn it into an argument. 
    B) Change the previously unrelated topic into a conversation about something the Cards supposedly did right. 

    McCutchen is an all-star caliber player. Solid defense, (mostly) smart baserunning, power at the plate, and from what I can tell, a solid attitude. 

    In today’s market, a player who has half the production level could probably get 6 years, $40 mil, so I’d say $51.5 over that same span is a good deal for Huntington and the Bucs. 

    As a Brewers fan, I was much happier to see the Cards waste money on Molina and keep him in the division than see the Pirates lock up a young star. 

  51. RSKelley 3 years ago

    The Pirates are where the Nationals were a season ago. Once Cole, Taillon, are in the bigs, Alvarez gets it together– and especially if Bell makes it– Pirates will be a very good team. A lot has to go right during these next few years, but if it does, they’re golden.

  52. LazerTown 3 years ago

    call it greedy, but if someone will pay me double that I will take it. 

  53. BrettLawrieBiggestFan 3 years ago

    Brian McCann 

  54. metsman 3 years ago

    I was making a joke, and you have to get all “free hand of market” on me? Obviously McCutchen has more substantial priorities than grubbing every last penny from whatever team will pay him the most. he’ll have to settle for the 50 mil lifestyle that not being greedy got him in.

Leave a Reply