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Dodgers Rumors: LA Exploring Signing Andrew McCutchen

The Dodgers’ outfield situation for 2023 remains unclear, and ESPN’s Buster Olney has thrown an interesting name out there for fans to consider. After jettisoning one former MVP from their outfield, could L.A. add a different one?

McCutchen was on an easy Hall of Fame trajectory early in his career, averaging nearly 5.4 WAR per year across his first seven seasons. In that time, he made five All-Star teams and had four straight top-five MVP finishes, including winning the award in 2013.

Starting in 2016, though, McCutchen’s career kind of fell off a cliff. After a 144 OPS+ his first seven seasons — roughly equivalent to the career marks of Albert Pujols and Mike Piazza — he posted a 104 in 2016 and just 111 in 2016-22 combined (which is more like Wil Myers and David Peralta territory). He’s also gone from being a solid center-fielder to a mediocre left-fielder, a huge defensive drop-off. Overall, after posting 37.7 WAR across his first seven seasons, he’s at 9.3 in the seven seasons since then.

McCutchen had just a 99 OPS+ in 2022, and while he was better against lefties than righties, he wasn’t nearly the lefty masher he was earlier in his career. Realistically, the main thing McCutchen would bring to the table would be Veteran Presence, which the Dodgers really only need if they actually cut ties with Justin Turner and new minor-league signee Jason Heyward doesn’t make the club out of spring training.

Olney’s report actually came before L.A. signed Heyward, so maybe it’s a moot point now if they were considering them for similar roles. But it’s kind of hard to see either of them really fitting on a 26-man roster. If rosters were at 28 with a limit of 13 pitchers, guys like McCutchen and Heyward would still make sense; as it is, they probably aren’t part of the four-man bench for a team that hopes to win the World Series.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. He's been blogging about baseball and the Dodgers 2004 and doing it professionally since 2015. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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10 Comments

  1. If the Dodgers sign McCutchen to a major league contract, then 23’ is officially a rebuild year. Not sure that’s a bad thing at this point. Let’s see just how good their farm system really is beyond all the hype.

  2. With Bellinger leaving just about everyone is replacement level if not better. That being said, I don’t think Cutch is the best guy to put out there, but he is better than Cody in a few categories. I have faith in this organization, but not as much as I had going into this offseason.

  3. I wouldn’t say for sure that it would be a rebuild type year, however if they don’t sign atleast two preferably three of the top free agents, I would have to heavily agree with you. I think a rebuild year woudn’t be too awful, since many more prospects should be just about ready at the beginning of the 2024 season(Grove, Pepiot, Outman, Amaya, Vargas). Pepiot is pretty ready, but he for sure is not at the top of his peak, though they will likely be relying on quite a few starts from him.

  4. I actually think Chris Taylor could be great at center frield and put Outman in the remaining spot. This guy did great in his debut. Chances are he would just get better long term. Anyone else at this poing is a crap shoot. Rather than blow money on some of these older players (except maybe for a knock out pitcher (a certain Angel at the trade deadline) who you are never really sure aren’t going to be a disappointment, try some of your homegrown talent for a change and have faith. Look how far the Gardians got with their young ones.

  5. TRADE FOR BRYAN REYNOLDS!!!!!!!! He wants out of Pittsburgh. We have the prospects to acquire him.

  6. We waited patiently for downgrades like this “has been” ? Dodger management is taking advantage of their loyal fans !

  7. Friedman is going to improve the team this winter. I would not be surprised to see a three way trade. For example, Dodgers get Bryan Reynolds, Adames and Burnes for ……….. ? It will be expensive.

  8. Come on, this has to be a joke at this point. Cody Bellinger is still young and could have turned it around with a healthy, not-wrecked-by-a-lockout offseason, but no, they had to let him go and pivot to old, washed-up, way-past-their-prime former All-Stars in Andrew McCutchen and Jason Heyward. Who’s next? Cole Hamels and Madison Bumgarner to round out the rotation?

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