Tom Brennan - Thoughts on Andrew McCutcheon


Tom Brennan - Thoughts on Andrew McCutcheon

Andrew McCutcheon....is he in decline, or the missing piece of a Mets championship puzzle?  

This article won't discuss what the Mets would have to trade to get him.  Question #1 - do we even want him?

One's first thought is YES, a guy who has hit nearly .300, been on base nearly .400, and slugged nearly .500 in his career...that is quality. And Dude won an MVP, something no Met has ever won.  Dandy Andy.

But a mensa mensa .256/.336/.430 in 2016.  Not terrific.

Drill down a bit, though, and you'll see he hit a much better .285 after July, an encouraging sign that April to June 2016 were a temporary downward blip.

Drill down again and see that AM has hit  about .330 career vs. lefties entering 2016, but just .229 in 2016.  That seems like an aberration that ought to significantly correct in his favor in 2017.

I am concerned that his speed seems to have diminished, and that he is just 5'10". I have nothing more than a gut sense that short guys in decline actually decline quicker than guys a few inches taller than 6 feet.

Strikeouts? 143 last year.  Highest ever for him...a bit concerning, though he played in over 150 games.

Defensively, he graded out poorly last season.  That is a big factor.  Is there any reason to believe he can even be league-average in fielding going forward?

My take is, he could easily have a few bounce back years, given that what he did the last few months of 2016 showed the April-July 20q6 stretch was an aberration.   And playing in NY with Cespedes and Jose could fire him up.

If the price is right, why not get him? But I wouldn't gut the farm to do it, especially if they'd want someone like Steve Matz in the deal.

Lastly, financially, he is signed for $14 million in 2017, with a team option of nearly $15 million in 2018.  With a buyout clause for $1 million. So if the 2016 decline were to continue, the Mets could part ways after just 2017.  Sandy likes short, so he may find this to be a deal that fits his mindset.  This trade would make much more sense if we can move both Bruce and Grandy (or at least move Big Jay).

Whaddya think, folks?


Rene Riquelme said...

Nice article,I love the players but I would not trade REosario,Comforto or Matz so I expect they would want some of those so if we can get him with other prospects I'm in.

bob gregory said...

I don't know about McCutcheon ' s worth in trade chips.

I do know though that relying on Granderson ' s ability in centerfield as a starter for the full season is less than sound.

Relying on Lagares' health is also a very risky bet.

Mack Ade said...

What I would want to do to get Cutch is a lot different than what the Pirates would do.

What they would not do is clear this contract by taking on one the same or larger.

What they would do is take 2-3 high level prospects, something we can not afford to do until we build up our pipeline more

Thomas Brennan said...

Guys need to assess where they can most improve. If the Mets thought the reckless Lagares could stay healthier than he has, and if Nimmo could double his HR power game, the Mets would likely stand pat (and inexpensive) and play those guys a lot. But...reality is reality. If I were Nimmo in Vegas last year, I'd have tried to hit 25 homers and .310, rather than 9 homers and .350. Homer ability turns heads.

Reese Kaplan said...

Really? Ask Travis Taijeron if he believes that.

Richard Jones said...

I would like to see what Reyes could do defensively in CF.
With McCutcheon looking like he is on the decline over the last couple of years I would not give them a Matz, Conforto, or a Rosario. I don't even think I would include Gsellman. I would include Lagaras or Bruce with Cecchini, Lugo, and Nimmo.
I could see Pittsburgh rejecting that but so be it. We don't need a one year rental for a CF who looks like he may not be able to play CF anymore. I would gamble on him and hope he rebounds but not at a cost of a major piece.

I'll take my chances with a Granderson-Lagares platoon giving Reyes an opportunity to win some major time there. Some shorts-stops with Reyes' physical abilities became outstanding Cfers in a short time span. I don't know if Reyes can do that but I don't know that he can't.

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, Taijeron's problem is his ever-sky-high K rate, plus hitting little over .200 the last several weeks of 2016. I think Nimmo could boost the power, while not striking out a lot more.

Richard, you make very good points. I wonder if they would do Cecchini, Nimmo, Lugo and Szapucki - that latter guy may be someone the Mets really do not want to trade. I am a little skeptical of Reyes in CF, given his history of hamstring injuries - lots of running out there.

Anonymous said...

Simply put, the cost in prospects would be higher then what we would get in return (or else, why would the Pirates move him). We would have to pay for "what he has done" (reputation), instead of "what he is likely to do" (projection).

I think he is starting a slow decline, which would make his acquisition risky, at best. I would prefer to hold onto our resources and see what a platoon of Lagares and Nimmo could do for a full season in CF for 2017.


bob gregory said...

A Granderson/ Lagares platoon will most likely not be a platoon for many games if Lagares ' s injury history continues this coming year.

Thomas Brennan said...

Miken good perspective. We'll see.

eraff said...

Pittsburgh cannot trade him for Borsht...Their fans will burn the Stadium!

I see holes and exposure in the Mets Infield and Pitching Staff, and I believe the Mets need to keep assets to trade for those needs...now, and as the season progresses. I WILL NOT count David Wright as a usable part, and that means I see an emerging infield need. 4 of their Starters were on the shelf at the end of last year---Pitching depth is critical, and it cannot be traded.

The Only way to trade big assets for Cutch is to judge him as 90-95% of the player he was--- I'm not a huge fan of defensive stats, but the consistent degradation of his defensive stats points to a diminished player.

Anonymous said...

The first thing everyone needs to process in their minds is:

Why oh why would the Pirates want to move their franchise player?

Answer at least for me is that they saw the beginning of a downhill spiral and they want to cash in before 2017 when this fact will be evident.


Thomas Brennan said...

Eraff and Viper, I agree. Unless we got him cheap, likely a mistake. Nate Colbert and Ellis Valentine are two who plu.meted very quickly. How about Zoilo Versalles,3 straight strong years, but career in free fall by age 27. It happens.

Anonymous said...

Reyes is not a kid anymore so asking him to play a whole different position is out of the question. Utility guys are mostly corner position not a CF who needs to make up for LF and RF gaps.

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree on Anon's Reyes comment - guys get more injury prone with age (unless their name is Bartolo). We want a happy, healthy Jose. That said, if he could very occasionally play out there in a pinch, that versatility might come in handy.

Richard Jones said...

I'm not an expert on hamstrings so I could be wrong. I think there is less stress in CF than there is in the infield. In the infield you have to start and stop more frequently. In those starts and stops are more impactful. In the outfield you do have to run longer but I believe it is less stressful. I'm not 100% behind Reyes playing CF but I would explore it if I was in Mets management.

Thomas Brennan said...

Richard, when I was younger (much younger), the only times I think pulled a hammy was running afull tilt. Think of how many runners you've seen pull a hamster trying to leg out a hit or stay out of a DP. That said, I am no expert.

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