Last spring, the Brewers big offseason addition was signing former MVP and long time division opponent Andrew McCutchen to a one year, $8.5MM deal. After the signing, Mark Attansio indicated that he made an exception in the budget "because it's Andrew McCutchen."
At the time of the signing, McCutchen was thought to provide outfield depth with the expectation of playing primarily as the team's designated hitter. The Brewers were also excited about his ability to hit off of left-handed pitchers, which was an area that they struggled in a season prior.
Sadly, McCutchen did not perform as expected as a Brewer. 2022 ended up being a very streaky season for him. As a result, he finished with a wRC+ under league average (100) for the first time in his career. It's clear that this signing did not pan out the way David Stearns and company intended.
Fortunately, the deal was just for one year. With Matt Arnold now in control of the team, he has made some interesting moves, including the recent deal that brought in Jesse Winker. Winker is not a great defender and likely will see time as the team's designated hitter. This may signal that the Brewers are not interested in bringing McCutchen back for the 2023 season.
McCutchen is now a free agent again and could be on his third team in as many years. The 36-year-old showed flashes of his old self last year, so he could still contribute to a team in a meaningful way. It's clear that he is no longer the go-to guy though.
Rumors have indicated that two contending teams are interested in former Brewer and current free agent Andrew McCutchen.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Los Angles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays have expressed interest in McCutchen. Both teams currently have openings in their outfield and McCutchen could slot into an every day role on either team.
The Dodgers previously non-tendered outfielder Cody Bellinger. He then went on to sign with the Chicago Cubs. Joey Gallo and Kevin Pillar also have entered the free agent pool. With all of these losses, McCutchen could be a solid replacement option.
As for the Rays, they could be looking to add some more power to their lineup. They finished 2022 with the sixth fewest home runs. McCutchen did hit 17 home runs in 134 games, so his ability to hit the ball over the wall is still there.
Sure, things didn't work quite as planned in McCutchen's short tenure with the Brewers. If these rumors lead to action, though, then maybe he'll get the chance to turn things around with a different playoff contender.