NEW YORK -- For the second time in nine months, the Yankees have added a former National League MVP Award winner to their lineup. This time it is Andrew McCutchen, who was acquired from the Giants with cash considerations ($1.2 million) on Friday morning.Trade Talk: The latest before the deadlineNew
NEW YORK -- For the second time in nine months, the Yankees have added a former National League MVP Award winner to their lineup. This time it is Andrew McCutchen, who was acquired from the Giants with cash considerations ($1.2 million) on Friday morning.
Trade Talk: The latest before the deadline
New York sent a pair of Minor League prospects to San Francisco for the 31-year-old McCutchen, who is expected to don the pinstripes for Saturday's 4:05 p.m. ET matinee against the Tigers. McCutchen has shaved his beard and said that he is ready to help the Yanks, who have been without Aaron Judge since July 26 due to Judge's fractured right wrist.
"I talked to him this morning, and he's super excited," said Neil Walker, a teammate of McCutchen's with the Pirates. "He's a guy who holds himself to a very high standard. He's always accountable, and he thrives in big situations and the spotlight. He proved that in Pittsburgh. I think it's going to carry over into this stretch for us."
As his club closes in on a postseason berth, general manager Brian Cashman agreed to part with infielder Abiatal Avelino and right-hander Juan De Paula. Avelino was rated as the Yankees' No. 23 prospect by MLB Pipeline, while De Paula slotted in at No. 26.
The price was acceptable, because McCutchen figures to bolster a lineup that has largely been anchored by reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton in Judge's absence. McCutchen batted .255/.357/.415 with 28 doubles, two triples, 15 homers and 55 RBIs in 130 games for San Francisco.
"We're getting a really good player, so I think that's exciting for us," manager Aaron Boone said. "I'm just looking to him getting here tomorrow and hopefully putting him in the lineup and seeing him help us. I think his reputation precedes him. This is as high character a person as we have in our game, and I know he'll fit well in our room."
Boone may use McCutchen as a leadoff hitter, particularly against left-handed pitching. McCutchen's 73 walks were tied for seventh most in the NL, and McCutchen has stolen 13 bases in 19 attempts.
"He's definitely a leadoff option for us, but you could also see him hitting third, fourth, fifth, sixth for us as well," Boone said. "We'll just see where we're at on a day-to-day basis, see who we're facing on that day, all those things. But I would say yeah, he's definitely a leadoff option for us."
With the Giants picking up part of the approximately $2.5 million that McCutchen is due through the end of the season, the Yankees are still able to keep payroll under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold. The right-handed-hitting McCutchen is earning $14.75 million this year.
This was McCutchen's first year in San Francisco after being traded in January following nine seasons with Pittsburgh, a stint that included the NL MVP Award in 2013, as well as three other top-five finishes.
A four-time NL Silver Slugger winner (2012-15), McCutchen also won a Gold Glove Award in 2012. The native of Fort Meade, Fla., has played all but one of his games in right field this season, committing just two errors in 255 total chances (.992).
"Any time you're adding a player of Andrew's caliber, regardless of what his numbers look like, he's going to be able to help," Walker said. "He's going to be able to contribute. He's been around a long time, and he's not a guy that gets too high or too low with ups and downs. He's not too worried about the spotlight or whatever the case may be."
Avelino, 23, combined to hit .287 with 15 homers and 66 RBIs in 123 games between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 20-year-old De Paula was 2-2 with a 1.71 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 10 games (nine starts) with Class A Short-Season Staten Island.
Although the Yankees showed interest in McCutchen prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, no deal was close, as the Yankees continued to believe that Judge would soon return. Instead, New York moved to bolster its pitching staff by adding J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn in separate trades; both have contributed.
However, Judge's recovery has been slower than expected -- he said this week that his pain is still at a "four" out of 10 -- and the outfield has been exposed in the interim.
With Shane Robinson and Walker clocking regular duty since Judge went on the DL, Yanks right fielders have ranked near the bottom of the Majors in batting average (.179, last), slugging percentage (.299, 29th) and on-base percentage (.252, 29th). Brett Gardner has also slumped in August.
"I think this [McCutchen trade] is something that just really helps us in the here and now," Boone said. "And even when Aaron comes back, it's another really good player to give us options to match up things how we want to and just bring another really good player in the fold."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.