In his weekly radio show on 93.7 The Fan, Pittsburgh Pirates general manager discussed a variety of topics.
Among what was discussed was the Pirates’ offseason plans, including the possibility of bringing back Andrew McCutchen, who is a free agent at the end of the season.
With the season quickly coming to an end, the Pirates’ front office has already started, and will become even more involved in determining what their offseason plans are.
Cherington expressed a desire to get better next season and believes with hard work this coming winter, the Pirates will be able to compete in 2024.
“We’re certainly opened and prepared to do both, be active in the trade market, be active in free agency. I know I’m a broken record, but so much of what we’re capable of doing and believe we can do in 2024 is gonna be driven by players already here continuing improvement — guys who are on the team now, guys who are in the minor leagues.”
It figures to be an active offseason for the Pirates as their rebuilding efforts are seemingly coming to fruition with a handful of young players getting extended looks at the big league level for the first time.
The young core will need to be supported with veteran players joining the team.
It’s possible, though, that there’s already an in-house veteran who could continue to have a big impact on for the Pirates on the field and in the clubhouse in McCutchen.
The 36-year-old McCutchen, who will be sidelined for the rest of the season with a partial tear in his left Achilles, is a strong candidate to be brought back into the fold next season.
“He’s a free agent so there’s some business to attend to there… There’s a desire for him to return, to be sure. Some important steps to get there,” Cherington said.
The Pirates’ general manager reiterated that those conversations won’t come until the season is over, but it certainly sounds like there is mutual interest in getting a deal done.
It makes sense for McCutchen, who passed on other interested teams last offseason in order to come back to the Pirates.
It also makes sense for the Pirates. Not only does McCutchen offer a veteran voice, but he performed reasonably well at the plate this season.
In 112 games prior to his current injury, McCutchen slashed .256/.378/.397 with 19 doubles, 12 home runs, 43 RBIs and 11 steals. He remains one home run shy of 300 in his career.
The Pirates, while optimistic McCutchen will make a full recovery from his Achilles ailment, understandably want to wait and gather more information before proceeding.
With all that being said, it would be a stunner to not see McCutchen back in the black and gold next season.