If there is anything Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns is known for, it’s that he seems to absolutely love outfield depth. On Monday, he proved that to be true yet again.
Stearns decided to bring an old divisional foe into the outfield mix as Milwaukee signed former Pirates, and most recently Phillies, outfielder, free agent Andrew McCutchen to a contract as reported by a few sources, including The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who was the first to mention the possibility and confirmed Daniel Alvarez’s original report.
Earlier in the day, Rosenthal had reported that the Brewers were being linked to the veteran outfielder. Apparently, it only took until later that evening for Milwaukee to pull the trigger on the move.
The addition of free agent Andrew McCutchen gives the Brewers a ton of depth at the outfield position.
After spending plenty of time terrorizing the Brewers between 2009 and 2017, McCutchen floated around with a few different teams. His most recent three seasons were spent in the NL East with the Philadelphia Phillies.
McCutchen was still able to do some damage in his age 34 season. Though his batting average plummeted to .222, easily the lowest mark of his career, he still swatted 27 homers, hit 24 doubles, and had 80 runs batted in.
The move may have been unexpected to some fans considering the depth the team already had at the position. The Brewers already have a formidable starting trio of Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, and the last-second, pre-lockout signing in Hunter Renfroe, not to mention a very capable backup in Tyrone Taylor.
But those who have paid attention to the Brewers in the past know that Stearns has no problem stockpiling outfielders. Most notably, in 2018, Milwaukee added Yelich and Cain to an outfield that already had Ryan Braun and Domingo Santana, and also added veteran Curtis Granderson at the deadline.
McCutchen can also help the Brewers in an area they had trouble in 2021: facing left-handed pitchers. Milwaukee hit .231 against lefties last season, third worst in the majors. Meanwhile, McCutchen hit .293 with a 1.027 OPS against southpaws last year.
In the field, McCutchen gives the Brewers something else they love: options. His primary position in recent years has been left field, thus he could cover Yelich if the latter sees games at designated hitter. He could also see time at DH himself or potentially back up other outfield positions if needed.
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Make that two days and two free agent signings in the books for the Brewers. Slowly but surely the Crew’s Opening Day roster is taking shape.