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Giant move: SF acquires McCutchen from Pirates

Club adds former NL MVP to lineup in exchange for prospects Reynolds, Crick, international slot money
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

The Giants reaffirmed their win-now approach with Monday's acquisition of Andrew McCutchen, while the Pirates maintained their focus on the future by trading the popular outfielder for right-hander Kyle Crick and outfield prospect Bryan Reynolds.

The Giants broke a lot of hearts in Pittsburgh by obtaining McCutchen, who had become synonymous with baseball in that city during his nine-year tenure there, and cash considerations. This followed San Francisco's Dec. 20 move that sent four players to Tampa Bay for third baseman Evan Longoria, who evolved into the Rays' most popular everyday performer.

The Giants reaffirmed their win-now approach with Monday's acquisition of Andrew McCutchen, while the Pirates maintained their focus on the future by trading the popular outfielder for right-hander Kyle Crick and outfield prospect Bryan Reynolds.

The Giants broke a lot of hearts in Pittsburgh by obtaining McCutchen, who had become synonymous with baseball in that city during his nine-year tenure there, and cash considerations. This followed San Francisco's Dec. 20 move that sent four players to Tampa Bay for third baseman Evan Longoria, who evolved into the Rays' most popular everyday performer.

"Andrew is a remarkable talent and will be a difference maker in our lineup," Giants senior vice president and general manager Bobby Evans said in a news release. "We're honored to have him and look forward to seeing him in a Giants uniform."

Video: Giants trade prospects to Pirates for McCutchen

The Giants sent Pittsburgh $500,000 in international bonus pool space, while according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, the Bucs will pay $2.5 million of the $14.5 million McCutchen is owed in 2018, the last year of his contract.

San Francisco hopes it has upgraded the club's offense by adding McCutchen as well as Longoria. The Giants ranked last in the Majors a season ago in home runs (128) and slugging percentage (.380), and they were next-to-last in runs (639) and on-base percentage (.309). No Giants player managed to hit 20 home runs last year, a figure that McCutchen has exceeded for seven consecutive seasons. Longoria has hit 20 or more homers in all but one of his 10 big league seasons.

• McCutchen's new teammates very excited

"It's no secret that we were looking to further add run production to our lineup," Giants executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean said in the news release. "Anytime you have the opportunity to bring aboard someone with such a track record, you have to jump on it."

Securing both veterans reflected the Giants' intent to improve upon their performance in 2017, when they finished last in the National League West. Their 64-98 record was their second-worst since the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958.

Video: Rosenthal discusses Giants' trade for McCutchen

McCutchen, 31, has slipped from the form that earned him National League Most Valuable Player honors in 2013. However, after posting career lows in batting average (.256) and OPS (.766) in 2016, the five-time All-Star rebounded last season to hit .279 with an .849 OPS, garnished by 28 home runs and 88 RBIs.

"Andrew is a dynamic player on the field and will be a leader in our clubhouse," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "He's always been a threat at the plate, and he's a guy you don't ever want to deal with, whether he's at the plate or on the bases; he's going to make something happen."

McCutchen expressed his gratitude toward Pirates fans through Twitter.

Tweet from @TheCUTCH22: Pittsburgh.My Home.My Fans.My City. The placed that raised me and helped mold me into the man I am today. You will 4ever be in my heart.A tip of the cap to all who have been on this journey with me. With Love and respect,Cutch pic.twitter.com/QB0n9vuBuZ

"There is simply nothing easy about this decision," Pirates chairman Bob Nutting said in a club statement. "It is one of the most emotionally agonizing decisions that we have had to make in my tenure. Not only because of the type of player Andrew is, but also because of Andrew the person and for what he has meant to me personally, to our organization, to our fans, and to our community. It has been an honor to see first-hand Andrew grow into the man that he is today."

• GIFs of McCutchen's best plays

Video: McCutchen on award, Clemente's spirit

The position McCutchen will occupy is uncertain. He played exclusively center field until last year, when he started 13 games in right. According to Statcast™, McCutchen was assigned zero Outs Above Average (OAA) last season. That reflected a significant improvement over 2016, when he recorded a negative-11 OAA. However, McCutchen also checked in with a negative-14 Defensive Runs Saved and a negative-4.5 Ultimate Zone Rating. These factors, combined with the oversized dimensions of AT&T Park's outfield, make McCutchen a candidate to play a corner spot.

That conceivably leaves the Giants still searching for a center fielder. Like most teams, the Giants would prefer to keep their player payroll under $197 million to avoid paying into the luxury tax and limiting their economic flexibility.

Video: Justice discusses McCutchen trade to Giants

Adding McCutchen's salary for 2018 won't push the Giants over the limit. But they likely would break the $197 million ceiling by signing a relatively pricey free agent -- specifically, Lorenzo Cain -- to play center. That doesn't include the second- and fifth-round Draft choices the Giants would forfeit by signing Cain, as well as the $1 million reduction in their pool for international bonus money.

Thus, with center-field prospect Steven Duggar said to be slightly less than a year away from being ready for the Majors, the Giants might try to upgrade the position with a relatively affordable free agent, such as Jarrod Dyson, Jon Jay or Cameron Maybin. Trading for Cincinnati speedster Billy Hamilton also remains an option.

Meanwhile, the Pirates continued to expand their supply of unproven yet promising players, as was the case Saturday when they traded right-hander Gerrit Cole to Houston for four prospects.

The Giants crowed that they secured a player with first-round talent when they selected Reynolds, 22, in the second round of the 2016 Draft. But the emergence of Duggar, who's rated San Francisco's No. 6 prospect by MLB Pipeline, made it easier for the organization to part with the switch-hitting Reynolds, who batted .312 with 10 home runs and 63 RBIs for Class A Advanced San Jose last year.

Crick, 25, made his Major League debut last season and recorded a 3.06 ERA in 30 games. He limited opponents to a .191 batting average.

Video: Cutch trade boosts Posey's value in Giants' lineup

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Given the Pirates and Giants both have pitcher-friendly home parks and ranked among the bottom five Major League clubs in runs scored last season, the move to San Francisco will not change McCutchen's fantasy value significantly. Having hit .279 with 28 homers, 88 RBIs, 94 runs and 11 steals in '17, the veteran still profiles as a top 20 fantasy outfielder who can make solid across-the-board contributions. He joins a Giants club that also added Longoria this offseason, providing Buster Posey with the support he needs to remain among the top three catcher assets heading into 2018 drafts. Meanwhile, McCutchen's departure from Pittsburgh slightly lowers the value of Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco and Josh Bell. Moreover, Felipe Rivero is less likely to rank among the saves leaders after the Pirates traded two core players (McCutchen and Cole) in recent days.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. MLB.com reporter Daniel Kramer contributed to this report.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

San Francisco Giants, Andrew McCutchen

Trade shakes up market for Cain, outfielders

MLB.com @jonmorosi

Gerrit Cole is an Astro. Andrew McCutchen is a Giant. Perhaps now a team other than the Pirates will stoke baseball's Hot Stove.

A few points on the ramifications of McCutchen's move to the Bay Area:

Gerrit Cole is an Astro. Andrew McCutchen is a Giant. Perhaps now a team other than the Pirates will stoke baseball's Hot Stove.

A few points on the ramifications of McCutchen's move to the Bay Area:

• Broadly speaking, this was not a great start to the week for Lorenzo Cain's marketplace. Unless his representatives are finalizing a deal that remains undetected by the hardball punditry, Cain lost one suitor -- and possibly two -- in Monday's moves.

The Giants no longer have room under the luxury-tax threshold to sign Cain at his projected salary. While the Giants still want to add a center fielder, they're seeking a defense-first player at the position who will be less expensive than Cain.

The Giants and Reds have discussed Billy Hamilton in trade talks throughout the offseason. According to Chris Haft of MLB.com, the Giants also are considering free agents Jarrod Dyson, Cameron Maybin and Jon Jay. Carlos Gomez is another free-agent option, coming off a season with the Rangers in which he was better than league average as a hitter and adequate defensively.

With McCutchen, 31, and Hunter Pence, 34, possibly starting in the corner-outfield spots, the Giants are prioritizing a center fielder with the ability to canvass the expansive outfield at AT&T Park. And Hamilton has been the best defensive center fielder in the Majors since 2014, according to Wins Above Replacement rankings at FanGraphs.com.

Video: Justice discusses Blue Jays' deal with Granderson

• The Blue Jays reduced their need for Cain by agreeing with Curtis Granderson on a one-year, $5 million contract, as first reported by MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. While Granderson likely projects as a platoon player in his age-37 season, his presence could give the Blue Jays enough assurances about the outfield to shift focus toward adding a starting pitcher.

One American League executive suggested Monday night that the White Sox are overlooked as a possible landing spot for Cain. The White Sox have hinted at the possibility of major acquisitions in the coming year, and their long-term outfield depth chart is largely unclear -- with the notable exception of top prospect Eloy Jimenez.

Video: LAD@COL: Gonzalez belts a solo homer to right field

• The market for free-agent outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has been quiet, at least publicly, for much of the winter. But with options now falling off the board -- including Jay Bruce going the Mets last week -- Gonzalez is inching upward on the list of top available players.

Gonzalez is the classic case for a one-year contract, and he's fortunate that teams in hitter-friendly ballparks -- such as the Rangers and Brewers -- are interested in outfielders for 2018. Although Gonzalez is coming off his worst full season in the Majors, he's young enough (32) to be an intriguing buy-low candidate. He posted a 25-homer, 100-RBI season as recently as 2016.

• While the Pirates' return for McCutchen -- right-hander Kyle Crick and outfielder Bryan Reynolds -- was criticized by some observers, other executives pointed out the difficulty in extracting significant value for one year of control, as McCutchen is eligible for free agency after the upcoming season.

One executive referenced the Tigers' side of the J.D. Martinez trade with Arizona in July: Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara and Jose King, none of whom projects as a future All-Star. And by some measures, Martinez has been the best-hitting outfielder in the Majors -- not named Mike Trout or Giancarlo Stanton -- since 2014.

Video: ARI@LAD Gm1: Martinez smacks a solo homer down line

• Speaking of Martinez, the McCutchen trade definitively eliminated the Giants as a possible destination for the top power-hitting outfielder on the free-agent market. The Red Sox -- apparently holding the line at a five-year offer -- and D-backs remain the favorites for Martinez.

The D-backs may need to move most of the money on Zack Greinke's contract in order to afford Martinez under the team's projected budget. But even with Greinke coming off a season in which he finished fourth in the National League Cy Young Award balloting, he wouldn't be easy to trade. Greinke's average annual value of more than $34.4 million is the richest in Major League history, and he's signed through 2021.

At a time in the game's economic history when teams are increasingly cognizant of the luxury-tax threshold, very few clubs would be eager to inherit a contract of that magnitude.

Jon Paul Morosi is a reporter for MLB.com and MLB Network. He has also covered baseball for FOX Sports, the Detroit Free Press and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lorenzo Cain, J.D. Martin, Andrew McCutchen

Pros and cons of 6 potential acquisitions

MLB.com @RichardJustice

We've had an offseason in which huge, sweeping trades have been discussed. In that way, the Hot Stove has never been hotter. As for action, that's another story.

Despite all the talk, just three big names have been dealt since the Winter Meetings -- third baseman Evan Longoria from the Rays to the Giants in December, right-hander Gerrit Cole from the Pirates to the Astros on Saturday and outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates to the Giants on Monday.

We've had an offseason in which huge, sweeping trades have been discussed. In that way, the Hot Stove has never been hotter. As for action, that's another story.

Despite all the talk, just three big names have been dealt since the Winter Meetings -- third baseman Evan Longoria from the Rays to the Giants in December, right-hander Gerrit Cole from the Pirates to the Astros on Saturday and outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates to the Giants on Monday.

Those three trades could eventually trigger others. And all those other deals, the ones involving Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson and Christian Yelich, seem as far away as ever. Stay tuned.

There's still time, though, and as free agency plays out and teams consider their options, things could happen. With that in mind, let's look at seven possibilities.

D-backs

The acquisition: Orioles 3B Manny Machado (trade).

Pros: Machado would replace J.D. Martinez in the middle of the order to create something similar to the lineup that averaged five runs per game after the trade for Martinez in 2017. Machado's arrival would send a message to every D-backs player and fan that the club believes it is good enough to win in '18 and that the front office is doing its part. For the Orioles, it would begin the tough, necessary job of accumulating young talent.

Cons: The Orioles want two MLB-ready pitchers, even with Machado a year from free agency. That's a steep price at a time when young pitching is among the game's most coveted assets. On the other hand, Arizona is one of the few clubs that has that kind of pitching depth, with left-hander Anthony Banda and right-hander Jon Duplantier on the cusp of the big leagues.

Video: TOR@BOS: Donaldson crushes his 32nd homer of the year

Cardinals

The acquisition: Blue Jays 3B Josh Donaldson (trade).

Pros: The Cardinals would be nicely positioned to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2015. Never mind that Donaldson will be a free agent after '18. The Cards see that as a discussion for another time. Donaldson's production and passion would make him an instant fan favorite. After finishing behind the Cubs in back-to-back seasons, the Cardinals aren't looking at anything else. For the Blue Jays, who have a strong farm system, the trade would bring at least a couple of elite young players.

Cons: There aren't many. The Blue Jays would want to pick through the St. Louis farm system, despite Donaldson being a possible one-year rental. For the Cardinals, that's a reasonable price to pay for a return to October. The Blue Jays believe they're good enough to get back to the playoffs. That probably changes without Donaldson.

Red Sox

The acquisition: OF J.D. Martinez (free agent).

Pros: Martinez hit 45 home runs in 2017 and would be a solid addition to a team that finished last in the American League in homers. Since turning his career around in '14, Martinez's .574 slugging percentage is the second highest in baseball, trailing only Mike Trout's .579.

Cons: Basically none. Martinez is 30 years old and probably worth a three- to five-year deal at $25 million or more per season. Agent Scott Boras apparently wants more than that, or the deal would have been done by now.

Video: Heyman on Martinez, Red Sox playing 'waiting game'

Mariners

The acquisition: RHP Jake Arrieta (free agent).

Pros: He might just be the final piece of the puzzle for Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto, who has relentlessly reshaped his team the past three offseasons. His 2.67 ERA over the past four seasons is the second best in baseball, trailing only Clayton Kershaw's 1.99. Arrieta will be 32 on Opening Day, but he is still under 1,200 career innings.

Cons: Signing workhorse pitchers to long-term contracts can be risky business. On the other hand, there is no such thing as a perfect acquisition. Arrieta seems worth the risk.

Video: Nats showing interest in trading for Realmuto

Nationals

The acquisition: Marlins C J.T. Realmuto (trade).

Pros: He's 26 years old and already one of the five or six best catchers in the game. He could share the position with veteran Matt Wieters for a year and would shore up the closest thing the Nationals have to a weak link in their lineup.

Cons: The Nats have been built on power pitching, and this deal almost certainly will not happen without GM Mike Rizzo giving up at least a couple of his best arms. Washington probably wins the NL East again with or without a change at catcher.

Brewers

The acquisition: Rays RHP Chris Archer (trade).

Pros: Archer is 29 years old and signed to a team-friendly contract ($34 million) for the next four years. He would give Milwaukee a true ace for the front of the rotation and close the gap on the Cubs in the NL Central. Once Jimmy Nelson returns from September shoulder surgery, Milwaukee's rotation would be playoff-worthy.

Cons: Archer would cost the Brewers some of the Minor League depth they've worked so hard to accumulate. If the deal costs them outfield prospect Lewis Brinson, who's ranked No. 13 in the baseball, GM David Stearns will have a tough time giving the OK. Considering Archer's age and contract, he's worth it.

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Big prospect soaks up wisdom at Dream Series

Talented Rocker absorbs lessons on mental side of game
MLB.com @JesseSanchezMLB

TEMPE, Ariz. -- One of the biggest names at the Dream Series belonged to literally the biggest pitching prospect on the field.

Kumar Rocker, the 6-foot-5, 250-pound right-hander from Georgia, completed the five-day event at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Monday feeling like a much better player, which is saying something.

TEMPE, Ariz. -- One of the biggest names at the Dream Series belonged to literally the biggest pitching prospect on the field.

Kumar Rocker, the 6-foot-5, 250-pound right-hander from Georgia, completed the five-day event at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Monday feeling like a much better player, which is saying something.

Rocker, who participated at the Under Armour All-America Game and the Perfect Game All-American Classic last year, also won a gold medal with Team USA. He is committed to Vanderbilt, and he could be selected in the first round of the 2018 Draft.

"This is one of the most helpful experiences I have ever had," Rocker, 18, said. "We had daily chalk talks, and the coaches had so much information that they could not even get it all in. And just talking to them on the side or at breakfast or at dinner, I learned so much by just talking to them about the game."

The son of former NFL defensive lineman Tracy Rocker, the pitcher is ranked No. 17 on MLB Pipeline's Draft Prospects list. He usually pitches at 92-96 mph with his fastball and can reach 98. He also throws a slider and a changeup.

"One of the big lessons we talked about here was blocking out all of the noise and the importance of the mental game," Rocker said. "I wake every morning and pray. My parents have also kept me in check. I'm just focused on staying hungry and humble. I know I am blessed to be in this position."

Video: Dream Series players discuss Martin Luther King Jr.

The Dream Series, an initiative of Major League Baseball and USA Baseball, featured a diverse group of some of the nation's top high school pitching and catching prospects. The event -- which is connected to Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- included on-hand coaching from former players, presentations on baseball-career opportunities on the professional and collegiate levels and athletic assessments through the Prospect Development Pipeline Premier Events.

MLK's spirit rings strong at Dream Series

The coaching staff featured former MLB All-Stars Tom "Flash" Gordon, Charles Johnson, Ken Hill, Junior Spivey and Marquis Grissom. Former pitchers LaTroy Hawkins, Darren Oliver, Marvin Freeman and Pat Mahomes, former big league manager Jerry Manuel and former MLB front-office executive Reggie Waller and several others worked with the teens daily.

Video: Gordon and Hawkins making impact at Dream Series

"We hope they leave a little bit more prepared to start their high school seasons, and that they go out and compete and play to the best of their ability," said Del Matthews, MLB's senior director of baseball development. "For a lot of these kids, they're trying to obtain college scholarships and get better. They're trying to work on things and improve in areas in which they're deficient, and they're trying to hone their skills and fine-tune their abilities. That doesn't happen overnight. There's a whole arc of the development process, and this is just one part of it."

The Dream Series also included special presentations by umpire Kerwin Danley and umpire supervisor Cris Jones, a discussion on Dr. King's impact led by Manuel and chat with Manuel's son Jerry Lorenzo, a renowned fashion designer. The participants attended a study hall after workouts each day.

Video: Manuel family connecting with kids at Dream Series

"[The Dream Series] has exceeded my expectations and it's a great way to kick off our calendar year in terms of youth programming," said Tony Reagins, MLB senior vice president of youth programs. "What we were trying to share with these players here is a well-rounded experience in terms of what our game looks like. These players want to be Major Leaguers and that's a long road with lots of hard work, but it all starts with character and it starts with a love and passion for the game."

In addition to Rocker, this year's group of players included many who are already committed to elite college programs like Simeon Woods Richardson (Texas), Sanson Faltine (Texas), Christian Little (Vanderbilt), D.J. Jefferson (USC), Irving Carter (Miami), left-hander Armari Paula (Virginia) and catchers CJ Rodriguez (Vanderbilt) and Ian Moller (LSU) among others.

"These kids are all not going to get drafted, and hopefully, the guys get a chance to play in college," Hawkins said. "This is about impacting their lives and giving them something they can take throughout the rest of their lives and make them a better person, a better father, a better husband and a better co-worker."

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ohtani leads list of top 10 RHP prospects

Astros phenom Whitley comes in at No. 2
MLB.com @JonathanMayo

It's prospect ranking season!

It's prospect ranking season!

Top 10 Prospects by Position

The countdown to the release of the Top 100 list officially begins, as it has for the past few seasons, with the Top 10 right-handed pitching prospects list.

Not surprisingly, the RHP list is a deep one and there will undoubtedly be many more than 10 righties on that Top 100 list, which goes live on Jan. 27, in conjunction with the MLB Network special at 8 p.m. ET (also streaming on MLB.com). The list starts with the player everyone is curious to see in action, the Angels' two-way star Shohei Ohtani.

Ohtani was added to the 2017 Top 10 RHP list when he signed with the Angels. There are two newcomers to the list compared to the end of 2017.

Video: Top Prospects: Shohei Ohtani, RHP, Angels

1. Shohei Ohtani, Angels
2. Forrest Whitley, Astros More »
3. Michael Kopech, White Sox More »
4. Brent Honeywell, Rays More »
5. Walker Buehler, Dodgers More »
6. Mitch Keller, Pirates More »
7. Alex Reyes, Cardinals More »
8. Hunter Greene, Reds More »
9. Triston McKenzie, Indians More »
10. Sixto Sanchez, Phillies More »

Top tools

Fastball: 80 - Ohtani, Kopech, Greene
All three get top-of-the-scale grades for their heaters, with the ability to crack triple-digits. Kopech's might be a slight shade behind the other two solely because they have better command.

Video: Top Prospects: Hunter Greene, RHP, Reds

Curveball: 65 - Whitley, Buehler
Both have nasty breaking stuff, with the ability to throw both a curve and a slider. The curve is a true out pitch for both right-handers, power breaking balls with excellent depth and spin.

Video: Top Prospects: Walker Buehler, RHP, Dodgers

Slider: 65 - Ohtani, Kopech
These two again. Both offer plus power sliders, though both have also shown some inconsistencies with the pitch. It's on more often than not, and projects to be a swing-and-miss offering for each of them.

Video: Top Prospects: Michael Kopech, RHP, White Sox

Changeup: 60 - Honeywell
This is one of Honeywell's five pitches he chooses from in any given start, and it's a beauty of an offspeed pitch. It can miss bats as well as generate weak contact.

Video: Top Prospects: Brent Honeywell, RHP, Rays

Other: 65 - Ohtani (splitter), Honeywell (screwball)
The splitter is a popular pitch in Japan and Ohtani's is nasty, a low-90s pitch that dives out of the strike zone. Honeywell doesn't throw the screwball, a very uncommon offering, frequently, but when he does, it's unhittable.

Control: 60 - Honeywell, Keller, Sanchez
Honeywell, Keller and Sanchez all have plus control, and Keller was pinpoint especially in the Arizona Fall League, but it's hard to look past Honeywell's career 2.0 BB/9 rate (Keller is at 2.4).

Highest Ceiling - Ohtani
There is some serious upside on the list, making it a little tough to pick just one. But Ohtani comes to the States with three pitches that get a 65 or higher on the 20-to-80 scouting scale. That's hard to beat.

Highest floor - Keller
Typically highest floor, or who has the highest likelihood of reaching his potential, goes to an advanced college type. But Keller's stuff to go along with his outstanding command and size makes him the safest bet to meet expectations.

Video: Top Prospects: Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates

Rookie of the Year candidate - Ohtani
Honeywell, Buehler and Reyes were other guys on this list who seem certain to make big contributions in the big leagues this year, but how can anyone other than Ohtani be the choice for most likely to contend for Rookie of the Year honors.

Highest riser - Whitley
The Astros' first-round pick in 2016 wasn't on the top 10 RHP list in 2017. After pitching across three levels and reaching Double-A as a teenager in his first full year, the 6-foot-7 right-hander has jumped all the way up to No. 2 on the list.

Video: Top Prospects: Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros

Humblest beginnings - Honeywell
Honeywell was pitching at Walters State Community College in 2014 and wasn't even on MLB.com's Top 200 Draft prospects list. He went No. 72 overall in the Competitive Balance Round B and signed for $800,000, the smallest bonus of any of the right-handers on this list.

Most to prove - Reyes
Maybe an argument could be made that Ohtani belongs in this slot as well, but Reyes' return from Tommy John surgery will be important as the Cardinals try to get back to the top of the NL Central.

Video: Top Prospects: Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals

Keep an eye on - Matt Manning, Tigers
Manning, the Tigers' first-round pick in 2016, has just five starts in full-season ball, so he clearly has a ways to go. But the 6-foot-6 former basketball standout has a ton of ceiling and a strong full season in 2018 could see him climb onto this list.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

History provides precedent for MVP trades

McCutchen, Stanton, Verlander all dealt within the last year
MLB.com

In 2013, Andrew McCutchen snapped two long droughts.

First, he helped push the Pirates back to the postseason for the first time since 1992. Then he became the first Bucs player since Barry Bonds in '92 to win a National League MVP Award, batting .317/.404/.508 with 21 home runs, 27 stolen bases and 8.1 Wins Above Replacement (WAR). But after four more seasons in Pittsburgh, Cutch is on the move. The Pirates reached an agreement on Monday to trade the five-time All-Star outfielder to the Giants, ahead of his final season before free agency.

In 2013, Andrew McCutchen snapped two long droughts.

First, he helped push the Pirates back to the postseason for the first time since 1992. Then he became the first Bucs player since Barry Bonds in '92 to win a National League MVP Award, batting .317/.404/.508 with 21 home runs, 27 stolen bases and 8.1 Wins Above Replacement (WAR). But after four more seasons in Pittsburgh, Cutch is on the move. The Pirates reached an agreement on Monday to trade the five-time All-Star outfielder to the Giants, ahead of his final season before free agency.

• Hot Stove Tracker

McCutchen is far from the first MVP winner to be traded, however.

Last Aug. 31, the Astros made the momentous move to acquire 2011 American League MVP Justin Verlander from the Tigers, helping spur their World Series championship run. And just last month, the Marlins sent Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees. Stanton joined Alex Rodriguez (2004) as the only players traded in the offseason after being honored as MVP since the Baseball Writers' Association of America began handing out the award in 1931.

Video: Frisaro on how Marlins, Yanks developed Stanton trade

Here is a look at 10 other notable MVPs who went four seasons or fewer between winning the award and getting traded:

Alex Rodriguez
American League MVP in 2003 for Rangers
Traded to Yankees on Feb. 16, 2004
Why the trade happened: Three years after signing Rodriguez to a record-smashing 10-year, $252 million contract, the Rangers got salary relief at the expense of a player who already had produced 25.5 wins above replacement for them and was still only 28. The biggest piece they got in return, Alfonso Soriano, provided two good but unspectacular seasons before he was dealt to Washington.
After the trade: Before opting out of his contract and re-signing with the Yankees at the end of 2007, A-Rod won two more MVP Awards and twice led the AL in homers and OPS.

Video: KC@NYY: A-Rod hits his 500th career home run

Ken Griffey Jr.
AL MVP in 1997 for Mariners
Traded to Reds on Feb. 10, 2000
Why the trade happened: Seattle was in a tough spot, as Griffey had requested a trade and had just one season left on his contract. Still, the club did well with a four-player package highlighted by fellow center fielder Mike Cameron, whose 18.3 WAR over four years with the Mariners more than doubled Griffey's output during the same stretch.
After the trade: Griffey, who signed a new deal after the trade, was terrific in 2000 but averaged only 79 games over the following four seasons as injuries plagued him. Cincinnati never made the postseason in his nine years there.

Rickey Henderson
AL MVP in 1990 for A's
Traded to Blue Jays on July 31, 1993
Why the trade happened: A pending free agent on an Oakland club headed for 94 losses, Henderson was moved at the Trade Deadline. The A's got a pair of prospects, including 21-year-old right-hander Steve Karsay, a first-round pick who went on to make 36 starts for the club over the next four years.
After the trade: The 34-year-old Henderson was having a huge year in Oakland but struggled in Toronto, aside from stealing 22 bases. Still, the Jays won the World Series -- with Henderson on base for Joe Carter's walk-off homer -- before Henderson re-signed with the A's as a free agent.

Video: Greatest World Series Moments: No. 4

Kevin Mitchell
NL MVP in 1989 for Giants
Traded to Mariners on Dec. 11, 1991
Why the trade happened: In exchange for Mitchell and pitcher Mike Remlinger, the Giants got three pitchers. The haul included a solid reliever (Michael Jackson) and a starter (Bill Swift) who led the NL with a 2.08 ERA in 1992 and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting the next year.
After the trade: Injuries limited Mitchell to 99 games and nine homers in 1992 before the Mariners traded him again, with two years left on his contract. Their return, reliever Norm Charlton, enjoyed a strong '93 campaign before reaching free agency.

Jose Canseco
AL MVP in 1988 for A's
Traded to Rangers on Aug. 31, 1992
Why the trade happened: The first-place A's wanted to save money and bolster their pitching staff when they dealt Canseco, a big piece of their lineup who was signed through 1995. All three players who came to Oakland (reliever Jeff Russell, starter Bobby Witt, outfielder Ruben Sierra) contributed down the stretch for a club that went on to lose in the AL Championship Series, but none made a big long-term impact.
After the trade: Canseco played 193 games for Texas before he was traded to the Red Sox after the 1994 season, providing 45 homers, 3.7 WAR and one of the most memorable bloopers of all time.

Video: TEX@CLE: Martinez's homer aided by Canseco's head

Keith Hernandez
NL MVP in 1979 for Cardinals
Traded to Mets on June 15, 1983
Why the trade happened: Less than a year after Hernandez helped them to a championship, the Cardinals shipped him to the lowly Mets, apparently due to off-field issues and clashes with manager Whitey Herzog. Pitchers Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey didn't provide much in return, although St. Louis was back in the World Series by 1985.
After the trade: Landing Hernandez was an enormous boon to the Mets. From 1984-88, he made three All-Star teams, won a Gold Glove Award each year, batted over .300 and brought a championship in '86.

Rod Carew
AL MVP in 1977 for Twins
Traded to Angels on Feb. 3, 1979
Why the trade happened: In 1978, Carew hit .333 to win his seventh batting title in 10 years, but the Twins finished third or lower in the AL West for the eighth straight season. With one year left before Carew would reach free agency, Minnesota exchanged him for four players (Dave Engle, Paul Hartzell, Brad Havens and Ken Landreaux), none of whom produced as much as 4.0 WAR for the club.
After the trade: Though he wasn't quite the same player in Anaheim, Carew still batted .324 with a 126 OPS+ over his first five seasons there, as the Halos twice made the postseason. Carew finished his career with the club in 1985, when he notched his 3,000th hit -- against the Twins.

Video: MIN@LAA: Carew collects his 3,000th career hit

Reggie Jackson
AL MVP in 1973 for A's
Traded to Orioles on April 2, 1976
Why the trade happened: The A's knew that Jackson, coming off his second home run title in three years, would test free agency after the 1976 campaign. So just before it began, they dealt him and pitcher Ken Holtzman for three players (Don Baylor, Paul Mitchell and Mike Torrez), none of whom remained with the club beyond '77. However, Torrez did have a strong '76, posting a 2.50 ERA over 39 starts.
After the trade: Jackson did indeed give free agency a shot and signed with the Yankees, although in his one season in Baltimore, he led the AL in slugging (.502) and OPS+ (155) for an 88-win team that finished in second place.

Orlando Cepeda
NL MVP in 1967 for Cardinals
Traded to Braves on March 17, 1969
Why the trade happened: Cepeda's numbers plummeted in 1968, and St. Louis swapped him for Joe Torre, who proceeded to put together six good seasons there (22.4 WAR). Coincidentally, Torre took NL MVP honors in '71, three years before he also was traded, to the Mets.
After the trade: The Braves got two good years from Cepeda, in which he hit 56 homers with 199 RBIs and a 123 OPS+. But a knee injury struck in 1971, and a year later, Cepeda was traded to Oakland.

Frank Robinson
NL MVP in 1961 for Reds
Traded to Orioles on Dec. 9, 1965
Why the trade happened: Robinson's performance from 1963-65, while still quite good, was a step down from '60-'62, when he led the NL in OPS+ all three years (169 overall). Believing that the 30-year-old was declining, Cincinnati traded him for three players. The highlight was pitcher Milt Pappas, who started 64 games with a 101 ERA+ in the next two seasons.
After the trade: Robinson was far from over the hill. He won the Triple Crown in 1966 (.316, 49 homers, 122 RBIs) and became the first player to be named MVP in both leagues. While the Reds were under .500, the Orioles won their first World Series, and Robinson was named MVP of that as well. After five more strong seasons in Baltimore, he was traded to the Dodgers.

Video: DET@BAL: Frank Robinson hits 500th home run

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Andrew McCutchen, Giancarlo Stanton, Justin Verlander

Source: Grandy, Toronto agree to 1-year pact

Club yet to announce deal; vet will compete for OF job
MLB.com @gregorMLB

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays shifted their attention to the outfield Monday night by reaching an agreement with veteran Curtis Granderson on a one-year deal worth $5 million.

Toronto has yet to officially announce the signing, but it was first reported by MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal and has since been confirmed by MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. The deal is pending a physical and also includes incentives based on playing time.

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays shifted their attention to the outfield Monday night by reaching an agreement with veteran Curtis Granderson on a one-year deal worth $5 million.

Toronto has yet to officially announce the signing, but it was first reported by MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal and has since been confirmed by MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. The deal is pending a physical and also includes incentives based on playing time.

Granderson is coming off a season in which he hit .212 with 26 home runs and 70 RBIs over 147 games with the Mets and Dodgers. The 36-year-old made a handful of appearances for Los Angeles during the postseason, but was left off the roster for the World Series.

Video: Granderson talks about his veteran presence

The Blue Jays remain in the market for additional help in the outfield, but this signing makes it harder to envision the club adding a high-profile name to the mix. President Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins appear to have a clear strategy this offseason of spreading their available money around to multiple players instead of spending most of it on one player.

Toronto took that approach with the infield by acquiring Yangervis Solarte, Aledmys Diaz and Gift Ngoepe. It appears to be the strategy for the outfield as well with the focus on depth and complementary pieces. Granderson falls into that category, as he's expected to form a platoon with Steve Pearce in one of the corner outfield spots. Kevin Pillar remains the starter in center field, which leaves one job up for grabs.

Rookie Teoscar Hernandez is one internal candidate, and the Blue Jays also control Ezequiel Carrera, who recently avoided arbitration with a one-year deal worth $1.9 million. Toronto could use another big bat -- and someone like free agent Lorenzo Cain appears to be a perfect fit -- but the club also is starting to run out of funds.

Toronto has a projected payroll of $151 million after factoring in arbitration and pre-arbitration players on the roster. Per club policy, the Blue Jays do not publicly disclose payroll parameters, but the range for 2018 is expected to be the same as it was for '17, which was approximately $165 million.

That left the Blue Jays with a range of $10 million to $15 million to spend this offseason. In addition to another outfielder, the club is in the market for a fifth starter and possibly an additional lefty reliever. With multiple needs, that money will have to be divided up, so a big signing through free agency may prove difficult.

Granderson is entering the latter stages of his career, but he still possesses quite a bit of power. The 15-year veteran has at least 20 home runs in four consecutive seasons and can play either corner outfield spot. He also struck out 123 times in 449 at-bats last season, and six stolen bases showed Granderson is no longer a speed threat.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Toronto Blue Jays, Curtis Granderson

Cutch tweets fond farewell to Pirates fans

MLB.com @DKramer_

Andrew McCutchen issued a heartfelt goodbye to Pirates fans and the city of Pittsburgh -- a place he called "My Home" in a classy tweet -- hours after it was revealed that he had been traded to the San Francisco Giants on Monday.

After nine seasons, McCutchen is moving on from the team that drafted him with the 11th overall pick in 2005. In the trademark fashion that the former face of the Pirates franchise has embodied, McCutchen thanked the fans and teammates, with a picture of him tipping his helmet to the crowd. McCutchen will assuredly be included in any conversation about the all-time greatest Pirates. In his nine seasons in Pittsburgh, he blossomed into a fan favorite for his personality and his loyalty to the city.

Andrew McCutchen issued a heartfelt goodbye to Pirates fans and the city of Pittsburgh -- a place he called "My Home" in a classy tweet -- hours after it was revealed that he had been traded to the San Francisco Giants on Monday.

After nine seasons, McCutchen is moving on from the team that drafted him with the 11th overall pick in 2005. In the trademark fashion that the former face of the Pirates franchise has embodied, McCutchen thanked the fans and teammates, with a picture of him tipping his helmet to the crowd. McCutchen will assuredly be included in any conversation about the all-time greatest Pirates. In his nine seasons in Pittsburgh, he blossomed into a fan favorite for his personality and his loyalty to the city.

Tweet from @TheCUTCH22: Pittsburgh.My Home.My Fans.My City. The placed that raised me and helped mold me into the man I am today. You will 4ever be in my heart.A tip of the cap to all who have been on this journey with me. With Love and respect,Cutch pic.twitter.com/QB0n9vuBuZ

In 2012, he signed a six-year, $51.5 million contract that bought out each of his arbitration-eligible years, with a club option that was exercised for '18. The deal was widely viewed as one of the most club-friendly in baseball, signifying McCutchen's allegiance. Over the course of that deal, McCutchen went on to win the NL MVP Award in '13, during a four-year stretch in which he was a finalist for the award three times. He also helped the club snap a 20-year postseason drought with a run of three straight playoff appearances.

Like the greatest Pirates player of all time, Roberto Clemente, McCutchen embraced his role as a community ambassador. He strove to leave an imprint on the city in a manner akin to Clemente, who was killed in a plane crash chartering relief supplies to earthquake survivors in Nicaragua on New Year's Eve in 1972. Since 1973, "baseball's most prestigious award," as Commissioner Rob Manfred has coined it, bears Clemente's name. It is presented to the player who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

McCutchen received the honor in 2015 -- joining Willie Stargell as the only Pirates to do so. McCutchen said he took more pride in receiving the Clemente Award than he did the NL MVP, which reflects his determination to define his legacy through the community.

McCutchen identifies with Pittsburgh so much that he named his son Steel as an homage to the city that groomed him into a star.

He plans to pen a formal goodbye to the city of Pittsburgh and its fans, at least as a player, through the Players' Tribune.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Andrew McCutchen

Yadi planning to retire after 2020 season

MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- Catcher Yadier Molina said on Monday that he plans to play out his current contract with the Cardinals and then call it a career.

"Three more years," Molina said bluntly. "That's it."

ST. LOUIS -- Catcher Yadier Molina said on Monday that he plans to play out his current contract with the Cardinals and then call it a career.

"Three more years," Molina said bluntly. "That's it."

The tone was more definitive than it had been previously for the 35-year-old catcher, who is about to enter his 15th Major League season. He is entering the first season of a three-year, $60 million extension he signed last April. When Molina was asked then how long he intended to play, he responded with a caveat.

"Four years," he said. "For now."

In setting 2020 as an endpoint to a career that could culminate with induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Molina also adds to the organizational urgency of getting back into the postseason. Though the club expects its young talent to help ensure sustained success, the Cardinals can also see a changing of the guard coming.

Video: Molina updates ongoing aid efforts in Puerto Rico

Veteran starter Adam Wainwright, the second-longest-tenured player on the team behind Molina, is entering the final year of his contract. He said on Sunday that he'll wait until after the 2018 season to evaluate his future. Wainwright and Molina have started more games as batterymates than any tandem in franchise history.

As for Molina, he's already built a distinguished resume that includes two World Series rings, eight Gold Glove Awards and eight All-Star appearances. He's been a model of durability and has started at least 128 games behind the plate in eight of the past nine seasons.

Molina has no plans to reduce that workload in 2018.

"Thank God my body feels fine," Molina said. "I have no problems with it. Hopefully, I keep that for three more years."

Separate of any personal goals he still hopes to accomplish in that time, Molina has set his sights on one other objective before retirement arrives.

"I can't wait to grab that [World Series] trophy in November or October," he said. "Three more championships."

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

St. Louis Cardinals, Yadier Molina

Cutch's new teammates are very excited

Source: Nats, Kendrick agree to 2-year deal

MLB.com @JamalCollier

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have reached an agreement to bring back Howie Kendrick, the veteran utility man who became a valuable player off the bench after he was acquired midseason, a source confirmed to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

The club has not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical and reportedly worth two years and $7 million.

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have reached an agreement to bring back Howie Kendrick, the veteran utility man who became a valuable player off the bench after he was acquired midseason, a source confirmed to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

The club has not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical and reportedly worth two years and $7 million.

Kendrick, 34, impressed the Nats after he was acquired in July. He slashed .293/.343/.494 with eight homers in 52 games for Washington while playing second base and the outfield, and serving as the team's best right-handed hitter off the bench. Kendrick was seen as a rental then, but the Nats will bring him back to join their other midseason acquisitions: Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson (who were already under contract), and Brandon Kintzler (whom the team re-signed last month).

Hot Stove Tracker

Filling out the bench was a key priority for the Nationals entering this offseason, and Kendrick adds to the club's strong set of reserves. Kendrick is expected complement left-handed hitter Matt Adams, who replaces Adam Lind, to form the club's primary pinch-hitting options. Infielder Wilmer Difo, outfielder Brian Goodwin and catcher Pedro Severino are likely to round out the bench, which should be a strength for Washington again.

Video: MLB Now: Howie Kendrick's two-year deal with Nats

Kendrick also provides versatility for the Nats, and new manager Dave Martinez could find a way to keep him in the lineup if Kendrick continues to perform. He could also provide insurance at the start of the season, while second baseman Daniel Murphy is recovering from offseason knee surgery. The Nationals continue to be optimistic that Murphy will be ready for Opening Day, but Kendrick could give them another reason not to rush Murphy's progress.

"Love Howie Kendrick, love what he brought us in the clubhouse with the young players," general manager Mike Rizzo said at the Winter Meetings. "He's got a good skill set. He's a guy that did nothing but great things for us between the lines and in the clubhouse."

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Washington Nationals, Howie Kendrick

Cutch deal has Giants primed for turnaround

Led by Posey, Bumgarner and newly acquired Longoria, club eyes return to prominence
MLB.com @RichardJustice

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said recently that his team's 2018 turnaround would begin with being embarrassed about last season.

"I know our guys," he said. "I know that's going to be the case. They're going to use what happened as motivation."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said recently that his team's 2018 turnaround would begin with being embarrassed about last season.

"I know our guys," he said. "I know that's going to be the case. They're going to use what happened as motivation."

Not just losing 98 games, but finishing last in the National League West and watching three division rivals -- the Dodgers, Rockies and D-backs -- make the postseason.

This happens with competitive people all the time. In fact, that's the thing that separates special players from the others. In Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner, the Giants have two of the really, really special ones, a pair of future Hall of Famers who've won three World Series championships and believe they're capable of more.

Video: Rosenthal discusses Giants' trade for McCutchen

That's a big part of why the Giants were poised for a bounce-back season even before making the second of two huge trades: Acquiring outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates on Monday after getting third baseman Evan Longoria from the Rays in December.

In Giant need of offense, SF trades for Cutch

McCutchen and Longoria have this in common: Both were iconic players with their previous teams. They made a huge impact on the field in helping their clubs become competitive and made equally large contributions in the community.

When you're a future Hall of Fame manager like Bochy, you define players by their attitude, professionalism and work ethic, in addition to their production. There tends to be a correlation with this stuff.

McCutchen and Longoria know enough about AT&T Park to appreciate the unique environment: Every seat filled, crowds rowdy. In San Francisco, winning the World Series is not a wild dream. It's what the Giants did in 2010, '12 and '14, and it's what they believe they can do again.

If you wondered if the Giants would retreat a couple of steps and attempt a rebuild this offseason, that was never a consideration. They intended to aggressively pursue upgrades at third base and in the outfield and give it another try. Don't discount them making a move for a defense-first center fielder. Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton is one option via trade. Free agents Jarrod Dyson and Carlos Gonzalez are two more possibilities.

If you'd like to have a conversation about what kind of players Longoria and McCutchen are at this point, that's fair. Longoria is 32, McCutchen 31. Longoria is coming off a season in which he had a .737 OPS and 58 extra-base hits while winning his third Rawlings Gold Glove Award. McCutchen had an .849 OPS with 28 home runs and 11 steals.

McCutchen's new teammates very excited

Here's betting both benefit from a change of scenery and that they buy into a Spring Training in which a lot of players -- and a franchise -- have plenty to prove.

Here's why the Giants were already going to be better:

• Bumgarner is healthy after missing three months with a shoulder injury last season. His competitive fires may burn hotter than any player other than Posey's.

• Right-hander Johnny Cueto's 2017 season was a nightmare, beginning with his father's illness during Spring Training and continuing with a season in which his 4.52 ERA barely resembled his 2.73 mark in the previous nine seasons.

Video: MLB Tonight: Giants trade for McCutchen

• The Giants expect right fielder Hunter Pence, first baseman Brandon Belt and reliever Mark Melancon to be better -- and healthier -- than they were in 2017. This is a huge amount of talent capable of dramatically altering the franchise's direction in '18.

This is the core of players that has set a standard for excellence the last decade, and to add two more consummate pros only enhances the possibilities for a surprise season.

For McCutchen, this trade begins a new chapter in his life. In Pittsburgh, his legacy is secure. His arrival in 2009 brought with it a sense of optimism for a franchise that hadn't been to the potseason since 1992. His decision to sign an extension -- that is, to buy into what the team's new ownership and management were building -- offered even more.

And he delivered. That's the thing to remember. The Pirates did not win a championship during McCutchen's nine seasons, but they were in the mix. They filled up PNC Park. They had people talking Pirates baseball. And as general manager Neal Huntington acquired more and more talent, McCutchen remained the centerpiece.

GIFs of McCutchen's best plays

Between 2013-15, the Pirates won the second-most regular-season games in the Majors (280), seven fewer than the Cardinals. They made three straight postseason appearances, once losing Game 5 of an NL Division Series to Adam Wainwright and the Cards and twice losing NL Wild Card Games to Jake Arrieta and Bumgarner.

Video: Giants trade prospects to Pirates for McCutchen

Those losses are a reminder of how unforgiving postseason baseball can be. In those three seasons, McCutchen hit .308 with 69 home runs and 263 RBIs. HIs .917 OPS was the sixth-best in baseball in that span.

During these three seasons, McCutchen made three straight All-Star appearances and finished third, first and third in NL MVP Award voting. More than what numbers can measure was the way McCutchen played.

His energy and speed were a thing to behold, and when he was rolling, so were the Pirates. While McCutchen helped elevate the Pirates to another place in the hearts and minds of baseball fans around the country, Pittsburgh's success allowed people to see just how good this guy was.

Now, he gets to show a bunch of new folks.

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

San Francisco Giants, Andrew McCutchen

Arb wire: Figures filed for unsigned players

Deadline passes for clubs to exchange terms with arbitration-eligibles
MLB.com @mattkellyMLB

Major League Baseball's arbitration deadline fell at 1 p.m. ET on Friday. Teams and their arbitration-eligible players needed to exchange proposed salaries for the 2018 season in preparation for a potential hearing, in which a panel of arbitrators decides between the two figures.

Many arbitration-eligible players settle on a contract with their clubs prior to the deadline and avoid the arbitration process -- but many don't, in which case both sides file their figures.

Major League Baseball's arbitration deadline fell at 1 p.m. ET on Friday. Teams and their arbitration-eligible players needed to exchange proposed salaries for the 2018 season in preparation for a potential hearing, in which a panel of arbitrators decides between the two figures.

Many arbitration-eligible players settle on a contract with their clubs prior to the deadline and avoid the arbitration process -- but many don't, in which case both sides file their figures.

Generally, players gain arbitration eligibility after logging three years of Major League service time. They then go through the process until signing a long-term deal or reaching free agency after six years of service. A select group of Super Two players, who meet certain criteria, gain eligibility after two-plus years of service and then have arbitration rights for four years instead of the usual three.

For some teams, the deadline represented a cutoff time to settle on a salary figure for 2018, while others are willing to continue negotiating right up until the scheduled hearing (to be scheduled between Jan. 29 and Feb. 16). The teams with a hard deadline employ what's known as "file-and-trial" or "file-and-go," choosing to go to a hearing once the two sides exchange numbers. Sources have told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that roughly two-thirds of teams follow this strategy, while the other 10 or so teams are willing to negotiate beyond Friday's deadline.