PITTSBURGH -- On Tuesday, Andrew McCutchen began looking forward to his next act. But first, he reflected on the first chapter of his career.The former face of the Pirates' franchise was introduced to San Francisco media on a conference call with Giants executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean,
PITTSBURGH -- On Tuesday, Andrew McCutchen began looking forward to his next act. But first, he reflected on the first chapter of his career.
The former face of the Pirates' franchise was introduced to San Francisco media on a conference call with Giants executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean, general manager Bobby Evans and manager Bruce Bochy. Pittsburgh dealt McCutchen to San Francisco on Monday in exchange for reliever Kyle Crick, outfield prospect Bryan Reynolds and international bonus pool space.
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During the call, a reporter asked McCutchen to explain the emotional response to leaving Pittsburgh after nine seasons with one organization. McCutchen laughed.
"How much time you got?" he said from his home in Pittsburgh's snowy suburbs. "To put it all in a nutshell, we have a lot to be excited about. We have a lot to be thankful for. We're very thankful for everything we have gone through, thankful for everything that has happened, thankful for the Pirates and the organization, for them having faith in me that I could be the player they felt I could be. We're thankful for that.
"We're also excited and looking forward to what's ahead of us. The emotions are high, of course, but we're excited about what's going to happen here in the future."
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Pirates general manager Neal Huntington called McCutchen twice on Monday: first to inform him of an incorrect news report saying the deal was done, then again to tell his franchise player that it was official and thank him for all he did for the Bucs.
Considering McCutchen has been mentioned in trade rumors for more than a year, the news wasn't exactly a surprise.
"Definitely the anticipation was high on my end, just because my name had been circulating a little bit. It was more of an anticipation, wondering if it was going to happen or it wasn't," McCutchen said. "When the reality of that hit, the emotions were definitely high. That comes with it. We're very excited, me and my family. We're excited and looking forward to the next chapter of our lives."
McCutchen spoke highly of the Giants, saying San Francisco is "an organization who knows what winning is all about." He looks forward to getting to know Bochy and reuniting with former Pirates closer Mark Melancon, who joined the Giants last offseason. He even joked about moving back to right field, where he began last season for the Pirates before returning to center.
"That's one place people can't pick on me, saying my defensive metrics are so bad," McCutchen said.
Sabean said McCutchen was "kind of the apple of our eye in the offseason" as the Giants sought to pry him away from Pittsburgh, the only organization the 31-year-old had known since the Pirates drafted him 11th overall in 2005. Evans said he was "not convinced they would move [McCutchen] up until the last minute of our discussion."
And yes, even Evans is still getting used to the idea of McCutchen wearing black and orange, not black and gold.
"As I look at our roster and see Andrew McCutchen's name on there, I have to continue to do a double take, because I'm so used to seeing it on a Pittsburgh roster," Evans said. "It looks very good for us."
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.