Before the Nationals acquired Adam Eaton from the White Sox, the Pirates nearly traded Andrew McCutchen to Washington for Lucas Giolito, Dane Dunning and a third player, Jon Heyman of FanRag writes (Twitter links). The Pirates now expect to keep McCutchen, who will be at PirateFest in Pittsburgh Saturday. They will also move McCutchen from center field to a corner outfield spot.
Giolito and Dunning, of course, formed two-thirds of the White Sox’ return for Eaton, with another pitcher, Reynaldo Lopez, also heading Chicago’s way. The possibility of the Pirates dealing McCutchen to the Nationals had loomed for the past several weeks, although it became clear yesterday that the Nationals would not trade top outfield prospect Victor Robles for McCutchen or anyone else who wasn’t Chris Sale, who the Nats had just lost out on. It’s unclear whether Robles’ absence from the deal was the reason the McCutchen trade never happened, however.
I’m not a fan of McCutchen at all, however I would’ve much rather received him over Eaton. McCutchen’s down year was still on par with Eaton’s “career” year, and his ceiling is much higher as history has shown.
I have to agree with you there. His overall downturn for the season could best be described as an anomaly. He’s long been a slow starter but this past year lasted a bit longer. Perhaps it was that he didn’t have much/any protection behind him with Polanco or Marte batting leadoff and Kang(coming off major knee surgery) behind him for much of the beginning of the year. Eaton is a fine player but I would think a freshly traded McCutchen would be rather motivated to perform at a high level.
McCutchen’s down year….you mean 2016? That wasn’t on par with much of anything, it was awful. Meanwhile Eaton had a superstar season. Eaton will decline a bit and Cutch will improve, but to compare their 2016 seasons is preposterous.
Eaton – .284/14/59, 63 BB, 115 K , .790 OPS
McCutchen – .256/24/79, 69 BB, 143 K, .766 OPS
Yes, those are similar numbers. To call Eaton’s season “superstar” is laughable and only a homer would think that. Superstar is Trout, Altuve, Betts, etc. Eaton had a nice year, nothing close to superstar.
And one played elite defense while the other was awful.
Elite wins gold gloves, and last I checked he didn’t win a gold glove. We can agree to disagree, we won’t change each other’s opinion.
Wow, no. Your opinion is bad and you should feel bad.
Didn’t Jeter win like 8 gold gloves? He’s literally the worst defensive SS in baseball history.
What was the obp, WAR, Wrc’s though? A lot of those stats like average and rbi’s are misleading. Eaton clearly was better last year, and it wasn’t close
So there can only be 1 elite right fielder in each league at most?
One elite defender was on a garbage team going up against another elite defender on one of the best teams in the league… Not too hard to guess which guy would win.
Mookie and Eaton were basically top 2 in every defensive category (top 3 in ones that Heyward snuck in). For example, Mookie had a better dWAR (according to bb-ref), higher DRS, and a couple others on Fangraphs. Eaton had a better Def rating (Fangraphs), better ARM, higher RngR and range factor, higher UZR and UZR/150, and a handful of others. Eaton actually beat out Mookie in most categories… Either way, they were both elite in RF last year, and it’s really not arguable to a sane person.
And for when you complain about all the stats not being accurate, they both absolutely pass the eye test.
hawk harrelson, is that you?
priggs, don’t bother. Logic doesn’t work on people who claim their “vast playing career” makes them some authority on anything baseball. This person is either a rather talented troll or a completely clueless baseball “fan”
Gold gloves? Really? Come on now, I thought we were past that.
another idiot claiming Jeter is “the worst?”
All of you’re opinions have become invalid.
Or you can do some research on your own and find out Jeter is the worst defensive shortstop to play baseball since 1900.
Jeter: -159 DRS, -9.7 dWAR, -76.1 UZR, etc.
Nobody said it’s A superstar season. It’s EATON’s superstar season. Superstar is the wrong word to use though. More like career. Eaton played over his head while Cutch looked awful compared to previous years. Cutch will rebound.
How did Eaton play over his head? His offensive numbers were almost identical to 2015 (his OPS was a whopping .002 points lower, and his OPS+ was 3 points lower). His oWAR in 2015 was 5.4 compared to 4.1 last year (must be base running and some other stuff). The only thing that added the extra 2 WAR was his defense in RF. He put up 1.8 dWAR. The previous year, he put up -1.1 dWAR in CF, which was completely out of nowhere, seeing as in 2014, he matched that 1.8 total, but he did it in CF… So you can call him a bad CF all you want, but signs point to it just being a really strange, brutal down year on defense.
By no means did he play over his head in 2016.
And you say I’m the idiot lmfao
Eaton’s .284 average 14 homers and 59 RBI with 14 steals is a good solid player…those are NOT superstar stats. Cutch in a decidedly poor year for him still hit 10 more home runs and drove in 20 more runs while scoring 10 less.. Offensively not a lot of difference. How is comparing them “preposterous”?
Eaton is not and never will be a superstar. Even a simple eye ball test clearly shows that. Great trade for so. You sir need to go back to your day job.
Talent wise I agree, but contracts are a big part of it too. Had they been on same contract I’m sure Nationals
*would prefer Cutch…
so if cutch had twice the control for half the price for his younger years, they’d like that?
If cutch had twoce the control he isnt on the trade block lol.
And if Cutch proves that last year was the start of a decline, what then? We’d all be here saying how the Nats got robbed by giving up prospects X, Y, and Z for an aging Cutch. Cutch still can’t play CF, and I don’t know if Harper can play CF well, but Eaton can play there at an average rate (at worst). Plus, if Harper leaves in two years, they can still build around Eaton as their premier OF.
Eaton is a whole lot riskier. Cutch could very well never be the same, eaton is more consistent, and is still sort of young, and cheap.
*meant cutch is riskier
Rizzo just made the Shelby Miller trade of 2017. McCutchen>Eaton by far.
I think he got Eaton instead of Mcutchen because of the contracts.
I think the contracts definitely play a part, my earlier point was more or less to point out that they traded away top potential talent for a lesser player than they could have.
Don’t let Dave Stewart off that easy.. Eaton’s 5 affordable years increase his value significantly. Still, I agree it was an overpay.
Cutch two years ago. Sure. Right now? No. Eaton is better. With a ton more team control.
McCutchen WAS the better player. Last three seasons Andrew Mc 10.5 WAR total, Eaton 15.3 WAR.
Not at all, everyone knew Shelby Miller was bad. The only people who think Eaton is bad are the people who have never heard of him.
Miller wasn’t bad before the Dbags. And I’ve known of Eaton since his Dbags days and while I don’t think he’s bad, I don’t think he’s that great. I’m glad the Gnats got him instead of Cutch. Cutch actually scared me as a Braves fan. Eaton doesn’t.
Miller didn’t have the advanced stats or track record to back up his good season, Eaton does
Hope Huntington didn’t get to greedy and was the reason the trade fell through
Greedy, or stuck to his guns? I’ve got no problem with Huntington asking for a lot. The Bucs don’t have to trade McCutchen; they can if the return is enough, but they don’t need to rebuild a minor league system like the White Sox did.
Yeah got to think they over paid for Eaton…
Sometimes they just can’t shake that Expos failure haha
what are you even talking about?
Glad that Cutch is still a Bucco. Pirates will make the playoffs in 2017 and will need McCutchen’s leadership and skills.
Who’s pitching for you guys in order for you to make the playoffs? Cole, Taillon, Glasnow, Kuhl? then who? That’s a lot of faith being placed on really unproven talent. If McCutchen is traded which seems to be PIT’s desire that offense is pretty weak as well. Is Watson the full time closer now? 15 for 20 in save opps in 2016 for a 75% save percentage is pretty awful. He’s a great reliever, don’t get me wrong….. just not impressed with his closing prowess to date. If they trade McCutchen I see them getting worse not better, but retooling to be competing in short order again. If ALL those young pitchers are legit, then yeah….. look out. But that’s asking a lot.
As a Cub fan sitting back and watching the Pirates try and trade their best player and the Cardinals seemingly having analysis paralysis yet again this free agent offseason, much like last year, I can’t help but feel extremely confident that the Cubs will easily repeat as division winners again. Already had a pretty solid bullpen going into 2017 and we just added Davis for Soler. If Davis has at least 1 more insanely elite year left in the tank and in that banged up arm, Davis, Rondon, Edwards, Strop as the 4-headed monster in the back of the bullpen……. good luck Cards, Pirates, Brewers, and Reds. Good luck. AND there is talk that the Cubs are still highly interested in Greg Holland. If they get him and he returns to his old form coming back from surgery…….. the Cubs then pretty much have combined the Royals stellar bullpen with their own stellar bullpen. Potentially a Holland reminiscent of 2013-2014….. Wade Davis……. Rondon…… Strop….. Edwards……… GOTDAMN!!!!!! If they go and sign Holland now, that’s possibly 5 guys in the pen (no longer can say back of the pen when we’re talking about over half the bullpen) with ERA’s bellow 2.70………… A bounced back Holland, Davis, and Rondon could be rocking sub-2.00 ERAs. STANKY!!!
But yeah…… the Pirates might make the playoffs………….hahahahaHAHAHAHAHA…….. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Sorry…. I’m a d**k.
that very last line is all i read. who has the time to read that wall of nonsense?
stay classy, Cubs fans.
Words are hard in Pittsburgh.
i don’t live in Pittsburgh, guy.
i wouldn’t waste time reading derogatory tripe if it’s mostly composed of, well, derogatory tripe (read: a billion characters of “HAHAHA” repeated at the end of your wall of text).
it’s nothing but a Cubs fan patting himself on the back for being a Cubs fan. congrats, i guess. you root for a team that won a World Series. we should hurl all the medals at you.
Don’t let someone like that shade your view of cubs fans. The pirates aren’t team they had been, but if thing click (yeah big if) that young rotation has a legitimate chance of being very solid
The pirates aren’t beating the cubs for the division (barring injuries) but there is no reason to think that team can’t compete for a wc
Ah…let the Cubbie fan have his moment to gloat. He’s probably only been a fan for 5 months, so give him some time to settle back.
Why didn’t they trade for Lorenzo Cain?
Wow, they were willing to pretty much give the same offer to McCutchen as they gave for Eaton???? I must have missed something being a Cub fan and all and not giving two sh**s about the wSox, but when did Eaton win multiple Silver Sluggers, named to several AS games, and win an MVP???? Oh, that’s McCutchen…… Eaton has none of that? That’s what I thought.
That said, despite what Chicago Sports Radio personalities may believe and say, Eaton is a solid player. Hits for a good average, gets on base at a solid clip, hits about 10-15 HRs, and steals 15 bases or so per year. Depending which defensive Adam Eaton shows up he’s either above average or below average in the field. 2014 he was a 1+ dWAR player……. 2015 he was a -1+ dWAR player. In 2016 he was a 1.8 dWAR player. I think that down year in ’15 was because he played CF and the other two he was in the corners. Meaning he sucks in CF……. which is where WAS wants to play him. Eaton is a good baseball player…… that’s it. Nothing more nothing less. He’s IMO pretty much what Dexter Fowler is…….. nothing to get too excited about but glad he’s on your team. The portion of the fanbase that is overly nostalgic and irrationally and creepily get overly attached to players will LOVE Adam Eaton. The more objective and sensible fans will appreciate his services but won’t have strong reactions one way or the other toward Eaton. Nerds will think he is one of the best OFers in the game and point to his sabermetric stats and especially point out his WARs over the last 3 years (as if WAR is a legitimate stat and not just the assumption it is and claims to be…… Eaton’s average WAR last 3 years is 5.1). And Homers and meatheads (Bernstein….. Chicagoans know who I’m talking about) will hate on him mainly because they just find Eaton’s personality annoying…… that personality is deemed as “over hustling.”
As a Cub fan with absolutely no horse in this race I’d say Eaton is a solid player. Was he worth coughing up that package of players for in order to get? IMO….. no. Not even close. But you can’t fault the player for that. You could do a LOT worse than having Eaton for 5 very cheap years. He’ll give you Fowler production for a fraction of the price. In that aspect it was a good add for the Nats. Worth jeopardizing your future over though……. not so much. Rizzo quite possibly put his job on the line for the likes of Adam Eaton……. that is pretty crazy to say. Giolito likely competes for and gets a roster spot in 2017. If he’s good and the Nats miss the postseason or have a quick exit in the playoffs again I wouldn’t be shocked if Rizzo is canned. Much like Stewart was canned for the Miller trade.
Eaton played CF in 2014…
You’re right. Wow, just goes to show how dumb a “stat” WAR is. Played CF in 2014 with a 1.8 dWAR…… played CF in 2015 with a -1.1 dWAR. Which is it sabermetrics? Does he suck at fielding or is he well above defensively?
Honestly, it was both. Nothing to do with sabermetrics at all. He looked really solid in 2014 and absolutely BRUTAL in 2015. I wish I had an explanation, but I don’t. It was very weird. The whole team was ridiculously bad on defense in 2015 though, so I’m leaning towards it being manager-related, which is one of the many reasons it was a shock to see Robin back in 2016. Thankfully he’s long gone now.
Maybe he changed positioning or was trying something else new in 2015?
No idea. But whatever it was, it didn’t work, made absolutely no sense, and was hard to watch.
You can say all that about mccutchen, but that’s probably not the cutch you’re paying for. He might be over the hill, he might not. Eaton was the safer pick since the control and track record he’s had
Speaking of an annoying personality…
Indeed Rob. Today’s winner of “Talks most, says least”. Not all Chicagoans are that annoying…. but Adam Eaton is. Nick Swisher 2.0. Good luck with that, Nats.
I’ve said essentially the same thing as you, however not as in depth or with such humor/passion. The difference is the sabermetric nerds and the overly obsessed fan boys jumped on me and tried to inform me as to how Eaton is a phenomenal superstar and I am crazy for not knowing that.
Considering you pulled out gold gloves as an example of defensive quality, it’s pretty clear you’re not interested in moving out of the 90s. Knowledge is power dude, not ignorance.
Obviously the “nerds” in the Washington and Chicago front office disagree on your opinion of Eaton. And probably every other FO too.
Great point about all the accolades McCutchen has earned.
Albert Pujols won four MVP’s, six Silver Sluggers, two Gold Gloves, and was named to plenty of All-Star teams.
I wonder why nobody is giving up their farm for him.
I’m pretty shocked the pirates didn’t pull the trigger if they are really that down on him. I would be curious to know who the 3rd player was. I like mccutchen, and think he’s the type of player who is going to be that much more driven this upcoming season.
i don’t think they’re necessarily “that down on him”. i think they understand what his contract implications are in the coming years and they wanted to see if they could get a knockout offer for him.
honestly, if that package of Giolito, Dunning, and “a third piece” was the Nats’ real offer, i’m glad it didn’t happen. the way offers like these reads likely shows that that unknown piece is almost never better than what’s known. in that respect, i doubt that the third piece was Reynaldo Lopez or someone like him, so the offer would have been lower value than what was ultimately given up for Adam Eaton.
at this point, the Pirates had no reason to deal McCutchen for anything less than that.
It doesn’t make sense for the Pirates to keep McCutchen now. I know he’s a millionaire, but would play for an organization that thinks that low of your talent.
Best case scenario is that he has a great start to the season and gets traded if the team is not in contention.
They’ll have to disrupt/destroy their season, but the best move is to bring him back and trade him at the deadline.
The Pirates have to hope his rebound was for real and that he can become a plus corner outfielder.
I won’t pretend that I’ve studied the numbers and theories enough (.I guess the premise is that a stronger armed center fielder holds more runners at first and thus provides the most run suppression?) but I LOVE Starling Marte in left field.
My favorite plays are when he throws out baserunners at home or at second with that laser cannon arm.
Why not use Polanco in center and keep Marte in LF?
It will be equally as much fun actually seeing someone get thrown out at home from center.
Not sure why the Pirates want to keep McCutchen. His value is only going to worsen the older he gets, and they have Austin Meadows who’s close to ready. Why not play Meadows and get some prospects back for McCutchen while they still can?
Cutch is a beast.. I don’t care what anyone says… this dude had half of a bad year at the plate.. people acting like he’s all washed up at 30 (usually prime years) make me laugh… little nagging injuries set him back for his worst season in the bigs.. while I don’t think this should be any excuse, I hope cutch shuts every1 up and gets back to his level of play
The only problem I have is if he’s reluctant to shift to corner OF like management suggests.. I don’t even mind if he stays at CF.. but if he was as bad in the field as this past year then they have to make the move regardless
People forget this beast was an MVP and finalist before..
He (along with Hurdle- even though I don’t agree with him all the time) deserve passes for leading this team from misery to the playoffs
If they traded cutch then they should be overwhelmed by the return… the nats’ Ross, Robles, and Lopez would’ve been nice… and btw cutch>>>>>>>>>eaton.. and it’s not even close… don’t reply with bs WAR or other dumb stats.. we all know cutch sucked last season but this dude is a beast
Perfect role model.. took less money… loves the city.. etc… and all of Pittsburgh wants to turn on him??? Here’s hoping he spends the rest of his career here and I don’t care what anyone says
Sorry for the story but this is 1st ever comment on the site… enjoy reading here and compliment MLBTR on the great work!!
Let’s Go Bucs!!!
I agree. Finally made an account so I could get in on the McCutchen discussion. By the end of the season, he really seemed to be on the mend hitting-wise. I’m hoping that will continue into 2017. I think he wasn’t up for the defensive adjustments of the Pirates outfield (I.e. shallow positioning).
My only concern now is he seems like a guy who would be upset by what seems like management’s rejection of him. I know it’s just business but these guys are human beings. He knows he sucked last year but you can’t act like a team is a family and then do everything you can to get rid of a guy just because he had a bad season. I’m glad Huntington didn’t settle for a bad trade. I think that shows they still value McCutchen. I just hope Andrew can see that. We need him to feel good about his place on the team.
I too take issue with everyone acting like McCutchen is going to be using a walker at age 30. It’s ridiculous. The guy had 1/2 of a bad season. The issues with his attitude are a direct result of playing for a team that is content with mediocrity. And let’s be honest.. Hurdle’s in-game management sucks. He leaves pitchers in to get battered, and never makes adjustments, and if they knew McCutchen was being positioned too shallow… why not make the adjustment instead of sticking to the original failed plan and then admitting after the season.. “yeah we positioned him that way and made him play shallow all season??”
Would’ve hated seeing him play in that city anyway. I think he’s going to kick some ass this year. He’s not a guy who is just going to sit back and allow these keyboard athletes get the last say so. An inspired Cutch with a chip on his shoulder is a scary thing for opposing teams, and I’m glad it will be with the Pirates this year.
That third player was key.
I wouldnt have traded McCutchen for Giolito and Dunning if the the third guy was a throw in. I would have if the third guy was Lopez.
I suppose we’ll never know.
The Nats press conference for Adam Eaton was hilarious.
“Why did you give up so much for Adam Eaton? He’s not that good.”
Rizzo- “Yeah, but he’s CHEAP and he’s like an indentured servant.”
“Yeah, but he’s not that good.”
Rizzo- “Yeah, but he’s good enough and he’s practically a slave.”
lol he’s decent and it’s a good addition but not for the price they payed… prospects are just prospects.. lots of hit and miss but I think they gave away a lot
White Sox doing great work building up the farm with top prospects
Yankees did the same around the deadline.. which sux bc i hate them.. but gotta give them credit
Eaton is an afforable, well controlled corner outfielder who will drastically boost their outfield defense and give them solid numbers from the 7 spot. He’s not there for homeruns or even 3-4 hitter stats. He’s a solid offense player with an elite glove and a team friendly contract. Which allows them to spend big on pitching.
That said, they spent way too much on him.
Eaton won’t be hitting 7. I’d be willing to bet Eaton and Turner are 1 and 2, in some order.
If the package was Giolito and Dunning, I’m glad NH passed. And I’m in the trade Cutch camp.
Giolito might be good, but he might not and Dunning is a low ceiling prospect. Got plenty of those already.
Ross and Lopez were more interesting relative to perceived value to me.
Now can we get back to the really important stuff and find a way to unload Harrison?