McCutchen heading back to the Pirates

The Pirates selected McCutchen in the first round of the 2005 MLB draft, and he was a no-brainer for face-of-the-franchise status. He now returns to the city that took a chance on that kid over 15 years ago with a new free agent signing.

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January 17, 2023 - 2:30 PM

Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates a three-run home run by teammate Josh Bell during the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park on July 14, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (Joe Sargent/Getty Images/TNS)

PITTSBURGH — Neil Walker was visiting family in Colorado on Friday morning when his phone began buzzing with news and excitement. As the Rocky Mountains provided a picturesque backdrop, Walker glanced down and saw what he sort of suspected had come true — Andrew McCutchen, the Pirates’ franchise pillar for this generation of baseball fans, was returning.

The contract, which sources told the Post-Gazette will be worth $5 million once it’s finalized, will bring McCutchen, 36, back to Pittsburgh, the city where it all started for a welcomed homecoming, a move that also tracks from a baseball perspective.

“It makes all the sense in the world,” Walker said. “He’s going to help some of these young guys out a lot when it comes to being professionals and playing winning baseball. He’s a valuable asset as a [designated hitter] and outfielder or however they would want to use him. I can’t say I’m surprised. I think he’s gonna be able to handle whatever they throw at him.”

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