The Yankees finally landed an outfield reinforcement, and he’s a game changer. The team announced that Andrew McCutchen has been traded to New York. In return, the San Francisco Giants received Triple-A infielder Abiatal Avelino and Low-A pitcher Juan De Paula.
McCutchen, 31, is years removed from his MVP heyday. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad fit for the Yankees. In fact, he’s the ideal target as a right-handed hitter with a good amount of pop. The outfielder owns a .255/.357/.415 batting line with 15 home runs in 130 games with the Giants. That’s good for a 115 wRC+, which definitely passes the “better than Shane Robinson” test. It’s not difficult to imagine him performing better at Yankee Stadium and away from the cavernous confines of AT&T Park.
For those interested in the luxury tax implications, it sounds like the Yankees are in the clear. From Ken Rosenthal:
Avelino, meanwhile, has split his time between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 23-year-old has hit .287/.333/.446 with 15 home runs. Most of that damage, however, came with the Thunder, where had a 162 wRC+. He mustered an 82 wRC+ against Triple-A pitching.
De Paula, on the other hand, is a 20-year-old starting pitcher. The right-hander appeared in 10 games for Low-A Charleston, starting nine of them. He owns a 1.71 ERA with a 3.44 FIP over 47.1 innings pitched. De Paula is a nifty arm to have, but not someone who stands in the way of a trade like this. He’s far enough away from the big leagues that the Yankees are comfortable moving him.
The Bombers have needed an outfielder since Aaron Judge got hurt. They tried to replace him internally, but the results were comically pitiful. It’s no small task to fill the void left by a legitimate MVP candidate, one hitting .285/.398/.548 with 26 home runs.
Thankfully the front office came to its senses and added a legitimate replacement. This deal came in the nick of time, too, as the deadline for acquiring a postseason-eligible player comes at 11:59 PM on August 31.