Pirates Start Over, Trade Andrew McCutcheon and Gerrit Cole
The Pittsburgh Pirates are in full rebuilding mode. They traded away starting pitcher Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros on January 13th, and followed that by trading outfielder Andrew McCutcheon to the San Francisco Giants on January 15th. Cole was 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 2017 on a Pirates team that was 75-87. Cole was 19-8 with a 2.60 ERQA and 202 strikeouts in 2015, the last year the Pirates made the post season. He joins a very good starting staff on the World Series champion Astros, who obviously believe the 27 year old righthander will benefit from a change of scenery and a better team.
McCutcheon was considered the face of the franchise. He was the National League MVP in 2013 when he hit 21 home runs, drove in 84, hit .317, and stole 27 bases. Last year he hit 28 homers and drove in 88 runs while hitting .279, recovering from a career low .256 in 2016. At 31, he should still have enough left to be a valuable player on the Giants, who fell all the way from an 87-75 Wild Card playoff team in 2016 to 64-98 in 2017, tied with Detroit for worst in the majors. San Francisco believes it can still be a viable contender now, however; the Giants also made a trade for Tampa Bay veteran third baseman Evan Longoria.