Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Another CF Option?

With under two weeks til Pitchers and Catchers, let's continue to dive into possible trades that would net the Nats a solid Center Fielder for the first time in club history - think about it, there hasn't been a single one. Last week our founder, Joe, tweeted out a trade proposal that would net the Nats star CF Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates. Here is the deal that Joe proposed:

To Nats:
OF Andrew McCutchen

To Pirates:
P John Lannan
P Ross Detwiler
SS Ian Desmond
2 Prospects

Responses ranged from "Hell yes" and "YES!" to "No way. #crazytalk" - for the record I sit closer to the "yes" range than the "#crazytalk".

I am going to change this around a little bit to what I think the Pirates would accept as a suitable replacement for one of baseball's brightest young stars.

Here is my proposal, followed by my explanation:

To Nats:
OF Andrew McCutchen
P Rudy Owens

To Pirates:
P John Lannan
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
OF Roger Bernadina
OF Eury Perez

Ok. Now hear me out. Yes, the Nationals would give up 4 MLB-level players for 1 MLB-level player - but it fills gaping voids for each team.

The Nationals would receive one of the best Center Fielders in all of baseball that is under club control for the next 4 seasons. For a quick refresher, McCutchen put up a slash-line of .259/.364/.456, hit 23 HR, 89 RBI while registering a 3.5 UZR. The deal would also send fringy, 25 year-old LHP Rudy Owens to the Nats to fill some organizational depth.

On the other side, here are my reasons for the pieces the Nationals are sending to Pittsburgh:
Lannan - I think that this needs no explanation, he is the odd man out and he would instantly be a top 3 pitcher for the Buccos.
LaRoche - Gives the Pirates a better first-baseman than Garrett Jones who took a developmental step back last year.
Desmond - Gives the Pirates a long-term option at SS, as opposed to Barmes who is a 33 year-old playing one of the most defensively challenging positions on the diamond.
Bernadina - Gives the Pirates an immediate replacement in center field for McCutchen.
Perez - Gives the Pirates a long-term replacement in center field for McCutchen.

In addition to filling out the Pirates roster, the move also gives the Nats some room to play around.

The Nationals would be able to move Morse back to the infield as well as setting up an outfield of Werth, McCutchen, and Harper. Here would be your Opening Day lineup:

8 - McCutchen
6 - Espinosa
5 - Zimmerman
3 - Morse
7 - Werth
9 - Harper
2 - Ramos
4 - Lombardozzi
1 - Strasburg

This trade would drastically change the landscape of both ballclubs. All that's left is your thoughts.

Well, CapBallers? What do you think?


  1. the pirates would laugh you out of the room. They aren't trading the best CF in baseball for a #4-5 starter, a 1B with huge injury questions, a SS who can't field or hit, an OF who is at best a #4 on most teams, and a prospect who isn't even a lock to make to the majors. Any deal for McCutcheon would have to start with J-Zimm and probably include a lot more (Hood, Lombo, etc.).

  2. I listened to the McCutchen discussion on the podcast this morning--which I enjoyed, by the way. I love the idea of getting him, but I think the Pirates would be completely insane to accept either of these trades. As you point out, McCutchen was the 5th best centerfielder in baseball last year by fWAR (5.7), and he's only 25, with FOUR years of team control left. You don't trade that kind of player for three more expensive, middle-of-the-road big leaguers.

    The Pirates are theoretically trying to build for the future. If they were to trade McCutchen, it would have to be something a lot more like the Gio Gonzalez trade, except McCutchen is a lot more valuable than Gio. Unless they trade Harper, or as I said, the Pirates are completely insane, the Nats just don't seem to have the pieces to pull it off.

  3. Completely agree with both of your points - I would laugh Riz out of the room as well.

  4. A good way to think about this is: Would you trade Ryan Zimmerman for Lannan, LaRoche, Desmond, Bernadina & Perez? I wouldn't. And keep in mind that McCutchen is worth much more than Zimmerman in a trade right now - not because he's better (though he might be) but because McCutchen is *much* cheaper and under team control for 3 extra years (2016 rather than 2013). So who on the Nats would you trade Ryan Zimmerman for? And if you want McCutchen, that still wouldn't be enough.

  5. This is crazy. At a bare minimum the Nats would have to include Zimmermann to get McCutcheon.

    I've seen this trade rumor elsewhere on the internet. It's always Nats fans bringing it up. There's a reason for that.

  6. Take Desmond out of the trade, and lets get the Pirates's GM on the phone!

  7. I thought the Lanna for Bourjos trade was ridiculous enough, but no GM in his right mind would EVER make that trade. A McCutchen trade would have to START with J-Zimm. Why would the Pirates ever make that deal? LaRoche and Lannan make a combined 15M (and their production combined doesn't come close to McCutchen), Perez is nice, but in no way a top prospect. It would probably take Des/Espi, J-Zimm, and one of our 2011 draft picks as a PTBNL for the Pirates to think about it. But if for some reason the Pirates accepted the above trade, it would be the greatest trade in baseball history.

  8. Not to pile on ... but Why would the Pirates possibly send one of the best CFs in the game for one #5 starter (Lannan), one overpaid injury reclamation project (LaRoche), one god-awful offensive short stop (Desmond), one below-replacement level outfielder (Bernadina) and one prospect who's never played above A ball (Perez)??

    McCutchen is a premium player and he'd cost a premium MLBer or multiple premium prospects. Last time I checked we traded half our premium prospects for a Lesser player (all things considered) than McCutchen.

  9. You're a silly fantasy type. Why are you bothering with this?

    McCutchen is a RIght handed hitter who isn't the same type of player asBJ Upton and Peter Borjous? Look at the stolen bases and the UZR dude. Try to learn something about baseball okay? They don't really need McCutchen. Why? Four words: Bryce Harper Anthony Rendon.

    Start using your head for something besides a fantasy hatrack.

  10. I love all these comments! Seriously though, you guys have read this blog before - give me some credit haha. Like the pirates would possible accept this trade. This is what happens to a blogger less than two weeks before spring training when there is nothing to write - its fun. Enjoy it.

  11. I actually like ideas that are outside the box - just throw them up there and see what sticks. You never know; crazy things happen every day and they are lots more fun to discuss than boring everyday stuff like restaurants in Viera.