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?