Cutch and Hamilton Find New Homes

With the Winter Meetings in full swing, the Hot Stove keeps crackling with a host of impactful moves on Tuesday afternoon, including two fantasy relevant outfielders switching leagues to find their new teams.

Andrew McCutchen signs a 3-year, $50 million-dollar deal with PHI

Cutch slid under the radar a bit in 2018 with a season split between SF and NYY. He was perfectly solid in 130 games with the Giants, putting up 15 HR and 13 SB with a 115 wRC+. Unsurprisingly, his power was held down out west as his .160 ISO would’ve been a career-low had he not been dealt to the Bronx for the final month.

In 25 games as a Yankee, he posted a .253/.421/.471 line with 5 HR in 114 PA. He also had equal strikeout and walk rates at 19%, both improved from his work with SF. He only stole one base, but that’s not surprising as the Yankees were just 25th in the league with 63 SBs. The bottom line on Cutch’s season was .255/.368/.424, 20 HR, 14 SB, 83 R, and 65 RBI, good for a top 40 OF finish.

Moving to Philly doesn’t bode well for his stolen bases, though they had three double-digit speedsters in 2018 so they don’t completely stifle those who are capable of doing it. Cutch has just one year below 11 SBs over his career and his sprint speed has held strong over the last four seasons, so I think we’ll get 10-12 again in 2019. Citizen’s Bank also plays a lot more like Yankee Stadium, so while he won’t necessarily match his 149 wRC+ as a Yankee over a full season, I think we’ll get a healthy 125-135 mark with a mid-20s HR mark.

He’s going in the 170s of early NFBC drafts as the 45th OF off the board, making him a nice value pick. His stock may rise now that he’s settled, but I can’t see him soaring to a cost-prohibitive level, so I expect to get multiple shares of Cutch this draft season.

Billy Hamilton signs a 1-year, $4.3 million-dollar deal (+ a $7.5 mil. mutual option) with KC

Hamilton seems like an obvious fit for the Royals, who haven’t been shy about embracing defense and speed over the last several years. Hamilton is more a reborn Jarrod Dyson than the next Lorenzo Cain, though. At some point, his persistent low-.600s OPS totals will cost him playing time and the presence of Brett Phillips and Chris Owings in KC could expedite that process.

Hamilton saw his flyball rate jump to 35%, which is literally the last thing his game needs. Perhaps the Royals coaching staff can get him to emulate Dyson’s 55% GB and 16% K rates to maximize that speed. We all know the deal here, you’re getting the speed at the cost of everything else, so you have to plan for a virtual zero in power and batting average drain. I’d personally rather get my speed elsewhere, but if your offense is setup to take on his ineptitude everywhere but SBs, I understand taking him.


Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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3 years ago

The Fangraphs Park Factors by Handedness have Philly as the single best park for right-handed HR hitting in the MLB. Sounds promising for Cutch.

Cory Settoon
3 years ago
Reply to  Ryan21

And the Giants were at 88. That’s an insane 28 point swing.