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Crasnick: Blue Jays Shifting Their Focus Towards Andrew McCutchen

Toronto Blue Jays fans won’t wake up on Christmas morning to find a shiny new contract for Edwin Encarnacion under the tree. But could a deal get wrapped up for Pittsburgh Pirates’ outfielder Andrew McCutchen?

In the wake of Edwin Encarnacion’s deal with the Cleveland Indians, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports the Blue Jays may be shifting their focus towards filling one of their vacant outfield spots with the former National League MVP.

This could be the front office’s attempt at damage control by leaking this report. But going out and getting Andrew McCutchen would definitely help people forget about Edwin Encarnacion signing elsewhere.



McCutchen always presented a very interesting option for the Blue Jays, and I believe Kyle Matte at BP Toronto initially floated the idea of acquiring Andrew McCutchen … which now seems more possible than ever for the Blue Jays.

It isn’t really a case of should the Blue Jays trade for McCutchen, it’s a matter of whether the Blue Jays have the prospects or MLB-ready players the Pirates would want in return to pry McCutchen out of Pittsburgh.

Prior to landing Adam Eaton from the White Sox, the Washington Nationals had been linked to Andrew McCutchen, but around that time, Jon Heyman reported there was a “mystery team” which made a play for McCutchen.

I can’t see why the Blue Jays couldn’t be that mystery team. Toronto doesn’t have the best farm system in MLB, but again, they have some attractive pieces which may intrigue the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Plus, the Blue Jays already dealt recently with the Pirates in the Francisco Liriano trade, so the Pirates have a good understanding of what’s available in the Blue Jays’ farm system.



This is just a guess on my part, but if the Blue Jays wanted to land Andrew McCutchen, I think it takes Dalton Pompey, one of the big pitching prospects (either Sean Reid-Foley or Conner Greene) and maybe one other Top 20 prospect.

Andrew McCutchen is coming off a down year in Pittsburgh, but he still has two years of team control (including a club option for 2018). Given the Blue Jays window of contention, it might be worth it to go after McCutchen as a short-term solution in the outfield.

Although the Blue Jays would give up a lot in the way of prospect capital, they could be getting a lot back this June in the form of draft picks. If Jose Bautista signs with a team which has an unprotected draft pick, the Blue Jays could have upwards of three picks in the first round.

Prospects are always hit or miss, but three first-rounders in one draft is a quick way to replenish the farm system in a hurry … especially for a team which may or may not have emptied the cupboard to get Andrew McCutchen.

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Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

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2 Comments

  1. mike

    December 24, 2016 - 3:53 pm

    we aren’t getting him, Pirates gonna ask for more then we’re willing to give..and if we give it won’t be worth it = negative improvement….

  2. David

    January 11, 2017 - 3:06 am

    Uh no prospect we have will turn out better than a McCutchen sorry but let’s make a deal happen we want a championship

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