The Structure of the Andrew McCutchen Deal is Interesting

PHOTO CREDIT: PAUL RUTHERFORD-USA TODAY SPORTS

As we await today’s fresh set of rumors stoked by agenda-driven agents and front offices, Ken Rosenthal checks in with the structure of Andrew McCutchen’s new three-year deal with the Phillies, and I like what the team did here:

The $10 million owed in the first year is pocket change, adding minimal obligation to an already modest 2019 payroll. In theory, it allows the Phils to make more aggressive short-term offers and front-load deals with prospective free agents, which certainly seems to be the organization’s goal. Look no further than their reported reluctance to go three years with J.A. Happ despite the obvious need for a reliable left-handed starter.

If you’re looking for a Harper/Machado angle, as I presume you are, it also leaves the team additional room to offer more immediate up-front money in whatever bananas contract they ultimately propose to either free agent. In what figures to be a hotly-contested bidding war, additional flexibility, however small it may be, matters.

Looking ahead, it also maximizes the Phillies’ ability to absorb a more expensive expiring contract should the team look to add at the trade deadline this summer.

Interestingly enough, while paying a 34-year-old McCutchen $20 million in 2021 isn’t ideal, the contract doesn’t overlap the unrestricted free agency of Aaron Nola (2022) or Rhys Hoskins (2024), assuming they don’t pick up the fourth-year option. While both players are due raises as they climb the arbitration scale (or both sides could elect to negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement), there shouldn’t be any concern of this back-loaded deal handicapping the team as the financial commitments toward its younger players increase.

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One Response

  1. While past his prime, he will do what Arrieta did for the pitchers and what Santana should have done with the bats… be an ex MVP that has the street cred to tell people how to play better.

    Great deal … I smell a Trout deal next year me thinks.

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