The San Francisco Giants are said to have an interest in outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
The Giants need to upgrade their outfield defense in center and reportedly have signaled interest in Pirates veteran Andrew McCutchen.
Reports say that the first plan the Giants have is landing Miami slugger and National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, which makes lots of sense.
If there were to be the case, Hunter Pence or Denard Span would move to left field and there would be no room for McCutchen to play.
However, if the Giants could not sign Stanton, McCutchen would be a huge plus to what they have now in left field. Last season the Pirates veteran had 28 homers and an on-base percentage of .363. That kind of production from the Giants in left field would increase their chances in what is expected to be a tough NL West.
That is why McCutchen would make a good fit for the Giants in left field from his usual center field if they do not land Stanton. At the same time, the Giants could afford to pick up a solid center fielder since McCutchen will cost them much less than Stanton.
Of course the ideal situation is landing standing, but odds are not in the Giants favor. First Stanton wants to play where he grew up in Los Angeles and second he might cost the Giants more than they have to offer.
However, in McCutchen they will land a veteran who will lead by example, still has the bat to hit 25 to 30 home runs and knock in 75 to 80 runs.
Of course, McCutchen is not the center fielder he once was and if San Francisco is to trade for him, they will need to pick up a centerfielder somewhere else, since neither Pence nor Chan are reliable defenders for a full season.
Since McCutchen is now 31, the Pirates do not have that much bargaining power to hold out for since McCutchen will be a free agent after the 2018 season.
The Giants must determine what amount of McCutchen’s contract that is worth taking on versus the number of prospects they might lose in a trade for a veteran who might be gone after just one season with the team.
Of course, all this is just speculation for now as the Giants will not consider trading for the Pirates outfielder if they land Stanton or until they know they are 100% out of the running to land the Marlins slugger.