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Is Andrew McCutchen an under the radar add? Or am I crazy?


Now just bear with me for a moment. 

In my blueprint idea for 2023 I thought long and hard about Haniger and Wil Myers as FA, RH hitting OF options who could fill a rather desperate need for the Twins. It's debatable whether or not Kepler is kept or moved, and there are clear reasons for either happening. It's possible Kepler is moved and the corner OF spots are filled with a combination of Larnach, Wallner, Kirilloff, and Gordon. One can easily see Wallner beginning 2023 in St Paul if Kepler is kept. That still demands a RH bat with offensive ability to be added. Gaining another $8M from a move of Kepler, obviously, adds to the financial pot at the FO disposal to add at SS, as well as other positions. And in my blueprint, I decided that Haniger is just too good to pass up, despite some injury risk. I'd rather have him than Myers based on pure production when in the lineup. (He's even got some experience in CF as a spot fill in option in a pinch). I liked the trade idea for Renfro a lot when presented, but alas, that's off the table now.

But what happens if the Twins DO bring on one of the top SS? Well, the large pool of $ to add to the roster shrinks, though it's still $8M larger if Kepler movement speculation comes to pass. But a few more additions need to be made at catcher, as well as maybe an arm or two. What if there's just no room to add Haniger, or Myers, and still an existing need for a RH OF bat? To me, Garlick is this year's version of Jake Cave, break the glass in emergency. He'll probably be moved to St Paul, just like Cave, and is simply NOT plan A.

But what if the potential $60-$75M actually disappears pretty quickly with a HUGE signing, maybe two, and a couple smaller ones?

Enter plan B in Andrew McCutchen at 36yo. "Are you crazy, Doc?". Maybe. He's had a fine career and is no longer the player he once was. But folowme on this.

I don't have his 2022 numbers against LHP, but for his career his quad slash is as folows: .300/ .394/ .542/ .936 with a career OPS+ of 122

Not surprisingly, he has better career numbers against LHP. While certainly not the defensive OF he once was, he still played 131 GS started in 2021 for the Phillies. In 2022, the Brewers started him 42 games in the OF, and 82 games at DH. FWIW, his fielding % in 2021 was .980, and in 2022 it was 1.000. This means, simply, he didn't screw up too badly and caught what he could get to. The big question, fielding wise, is could he be worse than Garlick? 

Kepler kept or not, I'd like a better option like Haniger, or maybe Myers. But if things turn out well with a couple really good signings, there may not be room. RHP is still, obviously, the norm. But also obvious is the Twins vulnerability to LHP. 'Cutch is probably only a 1yr option. But he provides an experienced bat, still with power, who has excellent career numbers against LHP. He'd be a part time starter and experienced PH off the bench. And he would come cheap.

Is he an interesting add as the 5th OF who might pay dividends against LHP if the budget gets tight? Or am I just crazy for thinking so? 

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I agree with you that we could use a McCutchen type player to be a platoon bat against LHPs. As a bat he'd be used sparingly because there's far less LHPs than RHPs. The main thing for him to do is to get on base wether it's BB or beat out an INF single.  With the bigger bases & restrictions on pitchers we need to take full advantage of it, have a guy that can steal that base on a regular basis. He's a guy who can hit & run, advance on fly ball & score on a short fly. Those are impactful qualities.

Besides platooning he could be used as pinch runner & defensive sub. All these qualities are overlooked yet are very useful to have available to win games.

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7 minutes ago, jorgenswest said:

I don’t think you are crazy. Someone will take a chance that a reduced workload in the short side of a platoon will make him a valuable role player. Maybe it should be the Twins if they spend big elsewhere.

It sounds good in principal but McCutchen hasn't had significant R/L splits in most years. In 2019 and 2022, his splits were negligible. In 2021, they were enormous. I don't think he's a particularly good platoon candidate.

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Now, now Doc.  You're not crazy. But I disagree with signing Andrew McCutchen as a player proposal. It will be OK in the OF this year for the Twins. Let's simply concentrate on signing Correa, Rodon and two smart, defensive catchers who can throw out some runners and the Twins will be OK in 2023. However, I'm not opposed to signing Cutch to coach 3B this year. 

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