By Sam Bush
In the biggest deal of the Las Vegas Winter Meetings, the Phillies signed veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen to a three-year, $50 million free agent contract with a $15 million club option (or $3 million buyout) for 2022.
Finalization of the deal is only pending a physical exam, which should take place before the end of this week.
McCutchen has been in a steady decline since finishing top-five in the National League MVP voting in four straight seasons with the Pirates from 2012-2015, but he gets on base at a high rate and still offers 20-plus homer power potential at age 32.
There is a bit of speed left in those legs too. The five-time All-Star slashed .255/.368/.424 with 20 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 155 games between the Giants and Yankees in 2018.
The question being asked now is whether the Phillies, who’ve made it known they want to be aggressive this winter, will zero in on Manny Machado instead of Bryce Harper.
Phillies owner John Middleton told reporters last month that the organization is going into the offseason “expecting to spend money” and would “maybe even be a little bit stupid about it.”
McCutchen is added to an outfield mix that includes Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, Roman Quinn, and Aaron Altherr.
There’s certainly still room for improvement there, but Machado probably makes more sense with Cutch now in the fold.