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The Giants have acquired Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates for Kyle Crick and hitting prospect Bryan Reynolds. The addition of the 31-year-old McCutchen adds some punch to a team lacking in outfield talent.
McCutchen, a five-time All-Star, is the centerpiece of the trade. While no longer producing like he did five years ago, he still hit 28 home runs and stole 11 bases last season to go with his .279 batting average and .363 OBP. He remains a full-time outfielder and will displace no one of fantasy significance in San Francisco. Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker and their projected sub-.230 batting averages will be headed to the bench. Also, it’s still likely the Giants will sign an average defensive centerfielder, as McCutchen’s range has declined recently.
As for McCutchen’s fantasy value, it takes a major hit. His new home park, AT&T, is an extreme pitchers’ park and highly suppresses home runs because of the cool climate. I would not be surprised to see his value drop by a round or two.
As for the Pirates’ return, they get former first-round pick Kyle Crick (7.8 K/9, 4.7 BB/9, and 3.06 ERA). The 25-year-old righty made his major league debut in 2017 and accumulated 30 relief appearances. Crick (#16 Giants prospect according to MLB.com) as some positive traits but one major flaw.
On the positive side, Crick struck out over 10 batters-per-nine in the minors with an above-average fastball and slider. Additionally, both pitches rise, generating a ton of lazy fly balls. His problem is control, with a BB/9 hovering around 5.0. Additionally, he can’t throw his breaking ball for strikes (30% Zone%). He’s still a project with good potential.
Additionally, the Pirates acquired Bryan Reynolds (#4 prospect at MLB.com). While Crick has seen time in the majors, Reynolds is at least a couple of seasons away from contributing. He’s a very average hitting prospect without one carrying trait.
McCutchen leaving clears the path for Pirates’ #1 prospect Austin Meadows to take over the vacated left-field position. Since being drafted, the athletic lefty bat has played a limited amount because of injuries. It’s tough to know how Meadows will produce in the majors, but the talent is still enticing.
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