The 31-year-old McCutchen, who cleared revocable trade waivers last week, will be traded away for two minor league prospects. This will be the second time in McCutchen’s career that he’s been apart of a trade transaction, as he was traded to the Giants by the Pittsburgh Pirates in January.
For the Yankees, bringing in McCutchen will provide some stability to a Yankees lineup that has been decimated by injuries as of late. Catcher Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius are expected to return in the coming days from the disabled list, but the biggest bat of them all in superstar outfielder Aaron Judge is still without a timetable for return after breaking his wrist on a hit by pitch in late July.
Giancarlo Stanton himself is also banged up, as tonight he started his 83rd straight game for the Yankees despite battling a hamstring injury. Without Judge in the lineup, the Yankees have been using Stanton in right field, as well as Neil Walker and Shane Robinson. Robinson figures to be the odd man out when it becomes time to add McCutchen to the active roster.
In-order to keep Stanton’s hamstring injury from getting worse, Stanton has been the team’s designated hitter more times than not this month. Which means that McCutchen will likely play right field for the Yankees in the mean time, with Brett Garnder in left and Aaron Hicks in center field.
McCutchen is batting .255/.357/.415 with 15 home runs and 55 runs batted in on the year to go with a 115 wRC+, making him 15% better than the league’s average hitter. He departs what has been a disappointing year for the Giants following the organization’s decision to try and re-tool their roster rather than rebuild it this off-season after finishing with the worst record in the National League in 2017.
When Judge returns from injury and regains his spot in right field, expect McCutchen to slide into the designated hitter’s role with Stanton out in left field. If McCutchen plays the outfield for the Yankees in the playoffs, it’ll be either in center field or right field as five-time MLB All-Star has never fielded a big league inning at that position.
In the playoffs, New York will likely host the Oakland Athletics in the American League Wild Card Game, as the Boston Red Sox have all but wrapped up the American League East division with a 8.5 game lead despite the Yankees having the second-best record in the majors.
Photo: John Hefti/AP