Chicago Cubs can’t look past Pittsburgh Pirates – or they could pay a price
By Jake Misener
More left than you might think
There’s no disputing what Andrew McCutchen meant to the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise. He departs ranking tenth all-time in WAR, seventh in Adjusted Batting Runs, ninth in runs created and seventh in extra-base hits.
But this trade makes a lot of sense. The team’s top prospect, Austin Meadows, ranked as the 17th overall prospect in the game according to MLB.com and is clearly viewed as the center fielder of the future. With McCutchen gone, Meadows will hope to move on from an injury-plagued 2017 and claim the role for himself.
Of course, Moran, acquired in the Cole trade, will be a big piece of the future, as well. But there’s a lot more to this team than unproven prospects.
The offense will be headlined by the likes of Josh Harrison, Josh Bell, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco. While Moran finishes rounding out, David Freese brings a veteran presence, along with catcher Francisco Cervelli and Jordy Mercer. The best part for Pittsburgh? None of these players is older than 31 – outside of Freese.
This lineup has a ton of potential. Bell was a finalist in NL Rookie of the Year voting last year. Harrison is a versatile talent on both sides of the ball and Marte and Polanco could eventually be one of the most potent outfield combinations in the league.
So, even without McCutchen, this offense has plenty of gas left in the tank.