Ahead of the Winter Meetings, the Phillies made their first big move, acquiring Jean Segura and a pair of relief pitchers from Seattle. Philadelphia is interested in a handful of players, most notably J.A. Happ, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. On Tuesday, though, the Phils added an outfield piece that they haven't been linked to much at all. According to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, the Phillies have reached an agreement with free agent outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
Phillies in agreement with Andrew McCutchen pending physical. It will be three yr deal— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) December 11, 2018
The three-year deal is worth $50 million, per Jon Heyman of Fancred.com. Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes that the Phillies decision came down to McCutchen and Michael Brantley. While Brantley's left-handed bat fit better, durability was a huge issue and the Phillies went with McCutchen.
If this has you concerned that the Phillies could be out on Harper, both Ken Rosenthal and Matt Gelb report that it will not affect the team from signing another outfielder.
Both @MattGelb and I are hearing same from multiple sources. Told addition of McCutchen would NOT preclude #Phillies from signing another outfielder, whether it’s Harper or someone else. https://t.co/ToylyfCwL7— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2018
What is more interesting about this deal is that Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the McCutchen signing opens the door for the Phillies to trade a younger outfielder. In addition, Sixto Sanchez has reportedly been in a number of trade discussions.
Agreement with McCutchen opens up #Phillies to possibility of trading a younger OFer. Sixto Sanchez, the #Phils’ top pitching prospect, also has been involved in numerous trade discussions, sources say.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2018
McCutchen, 32, just finished his 10th Major League season. In 2018, he played 130 games with the Giants before moving to the Yankees. In total, the five-time All-Star slashed .255/.368/.424 with 30 doubles, 20 home runs and 65 RBIs. McCutchen has hit 30+ doubles in seven of his 10 seasons and despite having an average below .260, still manages to get on base quite a bit and will positively affect the team defensively in the outfield.
The Phillies team is filled with young talent, so adding McCutchen is great for the culture and leadership of the clubhouse.