Five-time All-Star and former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen was acquired by the San Francisco Giants prior to the prior to the 2018 season.
It was a bold move by a team many expected to begin rebuilding.
“It’s no secret that we were looking to further add run production to our lineup,” Giants executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean told reporters following the trade. “Anytime you have the opportunity to bring aboard someone with such a track record, you have to jump on it.”
The 31-year-old took over as the team’s everyday right fielder and hit .255/.357/.415 with 28 doubles, 15 home runs, 55 RBI and 65 runs scored in 482 plate appearances over 130 games.
That was enough to make him a 2.0 WAR player, which trailed only Buster Posey (2.9), Brandon Belt (2.7), Brandon Crawford (2.5), Madison Bumgarner (2.5) and Dereck Rodriguez (2.3).
Unfortunately, the Giants proved unable to contend and McCutchen was traded to the New York Yankees in August ahead of his impending free agency in exchange for Abiatal Avelino and Juan De Paula.
That opened up a spot in the outfield for slugger Chris Shaw to audition over the final month of the season, and allowed McCutchen to further boost his stock with a contender ahead of his first foray into free agency.
Looking at the biggest picture, De Paula was later flipped to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Kevin Pillar, while Avelino is now on the MLB roster as one of the fewer upper-level middle infield prospects in the San Francisco Giants farm system.
McCutchen went on to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies in free agency on a three-year, $50 million deal that includes a $15 million team option and $3 million buyout in 2022.
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