I honestly want to say, ‘Who cares what the return is, just let him go.’ But I know San Francisco Giants fans, in general, are going to want the world in return for McCutchen.
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Let me pump the brakes right there, the Giants will be lucky to get a B-level prospect in return for him. He’s a free agent after the season and is a good but not great player at this point of his career.
The alternative would be to hang on to McCutchen and make him a qualifying offer after the season in hopes that he declines and we receive a second-round draft pick (possibly).
The qualifying offer last offseason was $17.4 million. It’s not a guarantee in my mind that McCutchen would turn that down.
After what we saw last offseason, I highly doubt that an aging outfielder whose numbers are declining is going to get a deal of more than three years. And I doubt he’s going to a deal that worth more than $50 million, which comes into play when considering the draft pick the Giants would get in return.
Those are all factors the Giants have to consider when deciding whether or not to part with McCutchen through waivers.
If the Giants can get a B-level prospect, maybe someone ranked 15-30 in another team’s organization, that’s a no-brainer for me. The Giants would have to pull the trigger on that deal.
Plus, getting the other team to eat the remaining money of his contract would all but guarantee the Giants stay under the luxury tax threshold, setting them up to spend like crazy this offseason.
McCutchen will be one of the biggest names out there in rumors over the next couple of weeks, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he gets moved. In fact, I hope that’s the case.