Andrew McCutchen has expressed his strong desire to continue playing in the city that holds a special place in his heart.
Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington made it clear that the organization would be thrilled to have McCutchen continue on with the club.
Cherington spoke about the 36-year-old outfielder, stating his belief that McCutchen would return to the team for the 2024 season after recovering from a partially torn Achilles tendon in his left foot that prematurely ended his homecoming season.
“Andrew has been an incredible asset to this team, and we have no doubt that he will be able to help us in 2024,” Cherington stated optimistically.
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McCutchen, who is on the cusp of achieving the impressive milestone of 300 career home runs, is scheduled to become a free agent in the upcoming offseason.
Despite the allure of potentially exploring other options, the aging McCutchen has made his intentions clear, stating: “It’s not going to feel right anywhere else.”
Pittsburgh is currently undergoing a significant youth movement aimed at revitalizing the franchise and returning it to contention. McCutchen, a five-time All-Star and the 2013 NL MVP, played a crucial role in the Pirates’ success during their three consecutive playoff berths from 2013 to 2015.
His veteran presence and knowledge of what it takes to win in Pittsburgh have made him a valuable asset in this transitional phase.
Reflecting on his performance this season, McCutchen, although acknowledging a dip in his power numbers, surpassed the impressive milestone of 2,000 career hits earlier in the year and maintained a .378 on-base percentage.
Cherington praised McCutchen’s approach, stating: “[His approach] has helped our lineup. It’s helped us, and I don’t see any particular reason why that can’t continue.”
As for his recent Achilles injury, McCutchen is expected to make a full recovery. The injury occurred while he was hustling for a double against the Milwaukee Brewers on September 4th.
Cherington admitted he may not be the right person to gauge McCutchen’s impact on the business side, but he emphasized the emotional resonance of McCutchen’s comeback and how popular he is among Pirates fans.
“Every time he came up to the plate, it was kind of a different sound than [when] some other guys come up to the plate,” Cherington noted. “So I think in that sense, it’s obvious to all of us that it means something, and hopefully there’s a lot more good moments out there with him.”
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