Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Pirates are “almost certain” to trade All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen. Passan notes that the Pirates have been calling teams to negotiate a potential trade rather than sitting back and accepting calls.
In the event McCutchen is dealt, Starling Marte would likely move to center field and Gregory Polanco would switch to left field with prospect Austin Meadows eventually taking over in right field.
McCutchen, 30, is under contract through at least next season at $14 million. He has a club option for 2018 worth $14.5 million with a $1 million buyout. The 2013 National League MVP Award winner had a relatively down year in 2016, finishing with a .256/.336/.430 triple-slash line with 24 home runs, 79 RBI, 81 runs scored, and only six stolen bases in 675 plate appearances. One-year flukes happen, however, and at $15 million for at least next season, the Pirates should still draw plenty of interest in McCutchen.
The Tampa Bay Rays signed free agent outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal worth $4 million.
Gomez hit .255/.340/.462 with 17 homers in 105 games for the Rangers last year. He missed time due to various ailments, as he has frequently over the past several years, playing 118 games in 2016 and 115 games in 2015. He’s useful when healthy. He just has to find a way to stay healthy.
The Rays just traded away Steven Souza and designated Corey Dickerson for assignment, making room for Gomez. Dickerson was slated to make $5.95 million and, if he is not traded, the Rays will be on the hook for $1 million of that. Souza was making $3.55 million. Gomez will work in the outfield corner rotation with Denard Span and Mallex Smith, while Kevin Kiermaier will cover center.