Phillies reportedly interested in Giants OF Andrew McCutchen

Phillies reportedly interested in Giants OF Andrew McCutchen

For the first time in seven years, the Phillies will be buying at today's 4 p.m. MLB trade deadline and they reportedly have their eyes on a former National League MVP.

Per MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi, the Phillies are one of three teams that have "varying levels of interest" in acquiring rightfielder Andrew McCutchen from the Giants.

Now before we go forward, it should be noted that McCutchen isn't the player he was when he won the NL MVP in 2013 and made five straight All-Star teams from 2011-2015 with the Pirates, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't help the Phillies.

The Phillies are in the market for outfield and bench help and while Nick Williams' emergence has changed their deadline needs, McCutchen would provide manager Gabe Kapler a capable outfield platoon option and a bench bat.

McCutchen has played right field with the Giants but can still pass as a centerfielder, where he's spent the majority of his career. He'd be an instant upgrade as the team's fourth outfielder and could spell Odubel Herrera in center and Williams in right.

The 31-year-old is hitting .258/.352/.407 with 10 home runs, 24 doubles and 43 RBI in 104 games this season with the Giants. He's also hitting .299 against left-handed pitching since the start of 2017.

Trading for McCutchen would serve a similar purpose as a move for Orioles outfielder Adam Jones or Blue Jays OF Curtis Granderson, but there is one major difference between McCutchen and the others.

McCutchen is owed approximately $5 million over the final two months of the season, so San Francisco simply could be looking for salary relief since it is a .500 team and its ace, Johnny Cueto, may need Tommy John surgery.

The Phils reportedly had an offer to acquire Jones from Baltimore but the veteran wasn't ready to wave his no-trade rights. McCutchen does not have those rights.

As for what the Phillies would have to pay to acquire McCutchen, one has to think the Giants' asking price cannot be much unless they're willing to pick up some of the outfielder's salary.

And since he's not the same player he was a few years ago, the return on him probably wouldn't hurt the Phils' farm system too much.

Stay tuned as the deadline is only a few hours away.

More on the Phillies

Phillies' scoreless streak over, but Jake Arrieta's offense not enough to avoid sweep

Phillies' scoreless streak over, but Jake Arrieta's offense not enough to avoid sweep

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — The punchless Phillies concluded a miserable weekend by The Bay with a 6-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday afternoon.

The Phils were swept in the three-game series. They scored just one run in 27 innings. They were hitless in 16 at-bats with a runner in scoring position in the series.

Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta provided the team's only run of the series with a solo home run in the third inning Sunday afternoon. The homer broke a 22-inning scoreless drought for the Phillies, but it didn’t exactly get the offense going. The Phils have scored just five runs in their last five games. They head into Monday’s off day with a 31-26 record. They are 2-5 on this 10-game trip, which resumes Tuesday night against the Cubs in Chicago and has a chance to be a real disaster if the offense continues to sputter.

Arrieta had an interesting day. He breezed through the first five innings, facing the minimum 15 batters thanks to a couple of double plays.

Everything fell apart for Arrieta after he came up and in on Gorkys Hernandez with one out in the sixth. Hernandez dusted himself off and stroked a broken-bat single to center, the first of five straight hits against Arrieta that concluded with a three-run homer by Andrew McCutchen.

After Hernandez, pinch-hitter Alen Hanson reached on an infield single that shortstop Scott Kingery seemed slow to charge. Joe Panik then tied the game at 1-1 when he stroked a 1-2 curveball to right field for a hit. Buster Posey followed with a base hit before McCutchen, a standout on both sides of the ball in the series, skied an 0-1 curveball down the right-field line. The ball stayed just inside the foul pole and dropped into a sea of fans for a three-run homer.

In all, the Giants scored five runs over the course of five batters. The five runs were as many as Arrieta allowed in five starts in the month of May.

The Phillies’ bats were dominated in back-to-back games by rookies. Lefty Andrew Suarez pitched seven shutout innings in the Giants’ 2-0 win Saturday night. Right-hander Dereck Rodriguez, son of Hall of Fame catcher Pudge Rodriguez, held the Phillies to one run over six innings in his first big-league start Sunday.

The Phils got the first two men on base against reliever Will Smith in the eighth only to get nothing. Buster Posey then homered against Hector Neris on a 3-0 pitch in the bottom of the inning.

The Phillies are 6-10 in their last 16 games. They are hitting .205 over that span

Up next
The Phillies are off on Monday. They open a three-game series against the Cubs in Chicago on Tuesday night. Pitching matchups:

Tuesday night: RHP Zach Eflin (1-2, 4.50) vs. RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.19)

Wednesday night: RHP Aaron Nola (7-2, 2.14) vs. LHP Jose Quintana (6-4, 4.30)

Thursday afternoon: RHP Nick Pivetta (4-4, 3.48) vs. RHP Tyler Chatwood (3-4, 4.02)

Phillies' offense goes from just enough to microscopic in San Francisco

Phillies' offense goes from just enough to microscopic in San Francisco

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — The Phillies are one of baseball’s surprise teams because they have gotten consistently strong pitching and just enough offense to win games.

The calendar has turned to June and the pitching remains strong. The offense, however, has gone from just enough to microscopic.

The Phillies suffered their second straight shutout defeat Saturday night, wasting a strong start from Vince Velasquez in a 2-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park (see first take). The Phillies had just three hits and one was an infield hit. Twenty-four hours earlier, the Phils were shut out, 4-0, by the Giants. Over their last four games, the Phillies’ offense has produced just four runs and one was a phantom run (see story).

“Obviously, at the end of the day, you have to score runs to win baseball games,” manager Gabe Kapler said.

“I think we're pressing a little bit. I think we're putting a lot of pressure on ourselves to get the big hit. We're putting a lot of pressure on ourselves to drive the baseball. Sometimes it's happening, sometimes it's not. It's a little bit less patient right now. It's certainly not a lack of talent. I believe strongly in the guys in the lineup tonight. I believe strongly in the guys in that room to score a bunch of runs. And I believe in our hitting leader, John Mallee, to lead them in the right direction. So everything is in place. It's more just we're going through a tough stretch. We have to weather this storm.”

The Phillies were sky-high coming out of Los Angeles with a split of a four-game series three days ago. Now, they need a win Sunday to avoid being swept by Giants, a team they took four games from last month in Philadelphia.

Over the last 15 games, the Phillies are 6-9. After briefly poking their head into first place in the NL East, they are now two games back at 31-25.

Over that 15-game span, the Phillies have hit .205 and averaged 2.9 runs per game. Odubel Herrera is 10 for 61 over that span and has gone from a league-best .361 to .306.

“Right now, we’re going through a tough moment but we’re going to find a way to turn it around,” Herrera said. “We’re not being as patient as we were before and that’s really a key. You know if you look for your pitches and you’re patient, things are going to work, but we’re too desperate and we’re trying to look for something too early.”

As for Herrera himself …

“I don’t really know what it is,” he said. “One thing I can tell you is, I’ve been putting in the work in the cage. Maybe it’s something mental, maybe it’s bad luck.”

Velasquez gave up just five hits, walked one and struck out nine over 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball. He was tagged for a leadoff double by Joe Panik in the sixth and it led to the only run the Giants would need. Panik moved up on a groundout and scored on a contact-play ground ball by Andrew McCutchen to shortstop Scott Kingery. The infield was in on the play. Kingery had to make a quick throw home and it was high, allowing Panik to sneak in before Jorge Alfaro's tag.

“You don’t really have time to re-grip and aim there,” Kingery said. “It’s just catch it and get rid of it as quickly as possible.”

Giants rookie Andrew Suarez held the Phillies to three hits over seven innings and got a huge assist from rightfielder McCutchen, who stole extra bases from Cesar Hernandez with a great running catch to end the top of the third. Alfaro, who had tripled, died on third.

“Man, I thought the ball was absolutely murdered,” Kapler said. “That was a tremendous play — great break, full speed, perfect route, never broke stride. Good job by him by making that play. Cesar absolutely leaned on that ball. It was disappointing for the dugout. But a really good play by the other guy.”

The Phillies, who have not scored in 20 innings, will turn to Jake Arrieta to salvage a game in the series Sunday. He will face rookie Dereck Rodriguez. The son of Hall of Famer Pudge Rodriguez will be making his first big-league start.