What has been the most logical outcome for the Pittsburgh Pirates offseason is finally coming true. The Pirates are re-signing Andrew McCutchen to a one-year contract for 2024, a source told Pittsburgh Baseball Now.
It’s the same $5 million deal that brought McCutchen back to the Pirates last offseason after the now 37-year-old split the 2018-22 seasons between the San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers.
McCutchen proved he could still be a valuable contributor at the plate in his first season back with the Pirates in 2023. In 112 games, McCutchen slashed .256/.378/.397 (115 wRC+) with 19 doubles, 12 home runs, 43 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.
The veteran led the Pirates with his .378 on-base percentage and was eighth in the National League in the category among players with at least 450 plate appearances.
Unfortunately for McCutchen, his season was cut short in early September due to a partial tear of his left Achilles tendon.
At the time of his injury, McCutchen was on the verge of quite a milestone. His next home run will be the 300th of his storied career. 215 of his 299 career home runs have come with the Pirates, which puts him fourth on the franchise’s all-time list.
Though McCutchen was robbed of the opportunity to check off his 300th home run, he did accomplish several other milestones in his return to Pittsburgh. The biggest came on June 11 against the New York Mets, when McCutchen roped a single into left field for his 2,000th career hit.
In addition to what he did on the field, McCutchen was often praised for his leadership in a young Pirates’ clubhouse. On top of that, the 2013 National League MVP is still a fan favorite.
Still, McCutchen was a valuable player for the Pirates last season when healthy. Coming off of his Achilles injury, it remains to be seen how the 15-year major league veteran will fare, but the Pirates will be counting on him to bring in 2024 what he did last season.
It also remains to be seen whether or not McCutchen will be able to play the outfield if necessary or if he will be utilized strictly as a designated hitter.
Regardless of his role, the Pirates are sure happy that Andrew McCutchen will be back on the field for another season. For Pirates’ fans, Christmas came a few days early.
In his career, McCutchen carries a .276/.369/.465 slash line with 2,048 hits, 411 doubles, 49 triples, 299 home runs, 1,045 RBIs and 216 steals in 2,007 games. In addition to his MVP, McCutchen has been an All-Star five times, has won four Silver Sluggers and was a 2013 Gold Glove recipient. He also won the prestigious Robert Clemente Award in 2015.