Yesterday afternoon, Brian Cashman facilitated a trade for former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen in exchange for their 23rd and 26th-ranked prospects Abiatal Avelino and Juan De Paula.
Gossip about a potential deal had persisted the night before, with Joel Sherman of the New York Post being the first to report.
Initially, it was once thought that Aaron Judge would miss three weeks. a relatively truncated recovery time for his injury. It has only become more apparent that Judge has and will need longer before he plays in another game. Judge has been fielding and running bases, but has yet to resume swinging a bat.
With McCutchen, the Yankees remain under the luxury tax threshold of $197 million for this year by about $6 million. McCutchen will be a definitive upgrade over Shane Robinson, who owns just a .432 OPS this year. McCutchen has a .772 OPS this year and a wRC+ and OPS+ of 115 and 110, respectively.
While those numbers are a far cry from his prime years, “Cutch” is still a legitimate threat at the plate, particularly against southpaw pitching, against which he sports a career .951 OPS. It is also worth noting that the transition from AT&T Park to Yankee Stadium could easily allow the four-time Silver Slugger to end the regular season on a high note.
Against upcoming opponent and potential Wild Card game foe Oakland, McCutchen boasts a 1.163 OPS against starter Edwin Jackson in 52 plate appearances, a 1.429 OPS against Trevor Cahill (21 plate appearances), and a 1.297 OPS against Mike Fiers in 20 plate appearances.
Ultimately, the Yankees got an outfielder who can hit in multiple spots in the lineup, a lethal hitter against lefties, a player who should be able to fill in admirably (if not more so) for Aaron Judge, and a battle-tested veteran who is a special human being.