It has been known that in recent history the Pittsburgh Pirates have been shy when it comes to dishing out money. Is it fair to continue to give them that label? During last year’s draft, team owner Bob Nutting, team president Frank Coonelly and General Manager Neal Huntington dished out roughly $17 million, to first and second round draft picks Gerrit Cole and Josh Bell. During the latter part of last year, they signed rising star, Jose Tabata, to a six-year $15 million deal. The deal was not as player friendly as most, but it showed how committed the organization was to turn this team around. And just this morning, the organization just hit a home run with the signing of franchise centerfielder, Andrew McCutchen.
The Pirates locked up McCutchen for six years, with the deal being worth $51.5 million. The deal will take care of his remaining three years in arbitration, his first two years of free agency, and a club option in 2018 worth $14.75 million.
McCutchen was the Pirates first round draft pick in 2005 under former Pirates General Manager, Dave Littlefield. Littlefield’s lone bright spot blossomed in the minors until he made his major league debut in 2009. In three seasons, McCutchen has recorded 435 hits and swiped 78 bases.
If you talk to any athlete, they will tell you one of the most important aspects of their life is feeling secure. Although McCucthen has already put up stellar statistics in his brief career, this sense of security should relax him and allow him to play his game.
McCutchen is known for his speed and has used that numerous times as a weapon. He has also shown he can hit for power, but those are the times where he tends to struggle. McCutchen, like any athlete, could of been feeling pressure to perform well, in order to receive a long-term deal.
Under McCutchen’s guidance, the Pirates finished last season with 72 wins, their best mark since the 2003 campaign. McCucthen’s contract is the second richest in Pirates history. Back in 2002, Jason Kendall signed a six-year, $60 million deal.
The Pirates have the infamous record of consecutive losing seasons, with 19. With the likes of McCutchen and Tabata locked up for the time being, it is time to flip the script and start a new streak.
Photo published by daylife.com
About the Author
Written by Drew Karpen
I am a graduate from Clarion University. I am currently the beat reporter for WVU football at ovathletics.com. I work part time as a stringer at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and as a producer at WJPA radio station. I also have my weekly column on ovathletics.com. I am from Pittsburgh and my favorite team is the Pirates.