Breaking: Andrew McCutchen Returning to Pittsburgh

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Pittsburgh Pirates fans of all ages, Rejoice!  The King has returned.

It is being widely reported that the Pirates are bringing Andrew McCutchen back to Pittsburgh on a one-year deal pending a physical.  Now, that pending physical part used to just be semantics, but we learned this offseason from Carlos Correa that physicals really do matter.  However, for just about all intents and purposes, Cutch is back!  

Andrew McCutchen returning right now to the Pirates just feels right.  They feel on the precipice of something special, especially with the way Oneil Cruz and Mitch Keller among others ended last season.  The veteran presence that Cutch will bring to this clubhouse is really unmatched with the respect and high regard all of Pittsburgh has for McCutchen.  He was also around the last time the Pirates made the playoffs.

Cutch had a fantastic Pirates career before being traded to the San Francisco Giants in a trade where Bryan Reynolds headlined the return.  As a Pirate, Cutch batted .291 with a .866 OPS and averaged 24 homeruns and 87 RBI per season.  He also won an MVP award in 2013.  Cutch is easily the best Pittsburgh Pirate of the modern era.

It also feels right because Cutch is approaching many milestones this season.  He comes into the 2023 season with 1,948 career hits, 392 doubles, 287 homeruns, and 983 walks.  The summer should be full of milestones for Cutch.  He may also be approaching the end of his career.  So while I don't want to predict a retirement tour for Cutch, he definitely has more seasons under his belt than he has remaining.

While Cutch is certainly not the player he was in 2013, he still bats much better against left-handed pitchers than most of the outfielders on the Pirates roster.  He is a perfect platoon candidate.  And while the signing of Cutch doesn't put the Pirates immediately into contention, I can't help but get much more excited about the upcoming season.  

I also expect the biggest standing ovation in team history on April 7th when the Pirates open at home against the Chicago White Sox.