Could the Phillies consider bringing Andrew McCutchen back for the 2023 season?
Andrew McCutchen is an unrestricted free agent, and the Phillies won’t get Bryce Harper back until mid-June at the earliest. Could a reunion be in the plans of Dave Dombrowski?
Current Phillies Outfielders
- Nick Castellanos
- Kyle Schwarber
- Matt Vierling
- Brandon Marsh
- Jake Cave
- Dalton Guthrie
With Bryce Harper sidelined for the first chunk of the 2023 season, the Phillies have a hole to fill at the DH spot. They have options, including Darick Hall, to face right-handed pitchers. With Hall slashing .083/.083/.083 against lefties in 2022, he’s most certainly out of the running to DH every day until Harper returns.
Nick Castellanos will get some time at DH in the spring months, along with Kyle Schwarber and even JT Realmuto, with Garrett Stubbs in line to get an increase of innings behind the plate in 2023 compared to last season.
Andrew McCutchen is not the MVP he once was, and frankly, he’s not remotely close to that. But the 36-year-old has slashed a .901 OPS against lefties over his last three seasons and still hit 17 HRs and 69 RBIs for Milwaukee in 2022.
McCutchen most certainly wouldn’t start for the team, but the Phillies could see him as a veteran depth-piece. Cutch slashed .237/.343/.444 in three seasons (’19-’21) with the Phillies, totaling 47 HRs, 143 RBIs, and a 109 OPS+.
Here’s what MLB.com had to say about Andrew McCutchen, who was listed as a sleeper veteran free agent.
“It’s been a very long time since Andrew McCutchen was the MVP centerpiece of some very good Pirates teams, and at 36 years old, he’s not likely to be viewed as an everyday player for teams hoping to contend in 2023. That said, in the right situation, there’s still an opportunity to contribute, because he’s a league-average bat who’s got a streak of 14 consecutive double-digit-homer seasons going, and his running speed is still near the top of the league — even after tearing his left ACL in 2019.
These days, McCutchen is most effective against lefty pitching (.901 OPS over the last three seasons, compared to just a .672 mark against righties), so it’s not hard to see a fit on a club with young, lefty outfielders, like Seattle (where he could platoon with Jarred Kelenic) or Arizona. Maybe “aging platoon part-time DH” doesn’t excite you. But who among us wouldn’t want to see one of the most important players of the last 15 years finally get a chance at that ring he’s never been close to?”
The deal would have to be cheap, but Andrew McCutchen made just 8.5M in his 1-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2022. If the price dropped from last year, which it should, given his age, Dave Dombrowski and the Phillies could possibly be in the mix to bring the former MVP back to the city of Philadelphia.