The holidays are here, and the San Diego Padres certainly received their early Christmas present with the signing of Xander Bogaerts.
It was an expensive gift, but the Friars were able to secure the shortstop to an 11-year $280 million deal.
Free agency is speeding up, and there are only a few headliners available. Left-handed starter Carlos Rodon is the top hurler on the market, and Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson are the top position players. The outfield position is one that the Padres need to entertain as the team currently doesn’t have a starting left fielder, with Jurickson Profar and Wil Myers opting out of their contracts.
Michael Brantley, Andrew Benintendi, Michael Conforto, Andrew McCutchen, Adam Duvall, and yes, Myers and Profar are all available for the Padres to sign at the moment. Myers is a long shot, but the team has heard rumors of a possible signing.
I broke down what Michael Brantley could bring to the Friars last week.
The attention shifts to McCutchen. Many are going to bat an eye, but the former 2013 National League MVP could make a lot of sense for the Padres this season.
The former Milwaukee Brewer is 36 years old. He’s nearing the end of his career, but the five-time All-Star can still produce at a high level. Here is a wild stat, according to baseball savant, McCutchen had the fastest sprint speed of all major league designated hitters, at 28.9 feet/second last season. He still has the pace and could play a lot of left field for the Friars in 2023.
McCutchen has a market value of $7.63 million and is well within reach. He is known as a DH now but played in the outfield in 50 games for the Brewers in 2022. He played 31 games in left, 19 games in right, and three in center.
Andrew McCutchen 👀
A dive and snag robs Tucupita Marcano of a base hit.
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) August 31, 2022
Last year, the right-hander hit .237 with 17 home runs and 69 RBIs. He finished with 122 hits, eight steals, and an OPS of .700. Those numbers aren’t eye-opening, but there aren’t many free-agent outfield options that have better numbers at the moment.
Another trait that McCutchen would bring to the Padres is leadership. The team certainly has it with Manny Machado and Bob Melvin, and now Xander Bogaerts. However, adding a 14-year vet could really benefit the clubhouse, which has a ton of young talent. Imagine the tools he could teach Juan Soto, Trent Grisham, and possibly Fernando Tatis Jr. to evaluate their defensive skills … not that Grisham needs it, but you see the point.
The offseason moves quickly. We are already about two months away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, as we all know it kicks off in February. There is plenty of time for the Padres to continue to build the roster, but the hope would be that the team can bring in a veteran outfielder to complete the lineup.
Andrew McCutchen still has a lot to prove, and if he wants to win a championship, then coming to San Diego should be at the top of his priority list.