If you were starting a franchise from scratch tomorrow, McCutchen would be on the short list of guys you’d look at to build a team around. He’s already an All-Star and his broad base of skills and physical talents suggest that he could get even better. It’s not at all out of the question that McCutchen could peak as the best outfielder in the game. And now, with this deal, the Pirates have guaranteed that his best days will be spent in Pittsburgh.
Right. Fangraphs later goes into great detail to compare the McCutchen contract to similar deals signed by the Reds' Jay Bruce and the Diamondbacks' Justin Upton. That makes sense, obviously, but to me as a fan, that interests me a lot less than the paragraph above. What interests me is that the Pirates have agreed to a deal to lock up one of the best young players in baseball through age 31, and they're likely to get a ton of value there. They also ensure that he'll be around in 2015 and 2016, when the Bucs' best prospects will hopefully be productive major leaguers.
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