Dejan Kovacevic of the Tribune-Review reports that, a month after the news initially broke that outfielder Andrew McCutchen and the Pirates were discussing a long-term contract extension, nothing is imminent. The Bucs want to guarantee that McCutchen will stick around at least a year beyond 2015, after which he would have been eligible for free agency, and it appears McCutchen is open to that, but the two sides don’t agree on how much he should be paid.
The Pirates and McCutchen had discussed a contract that would buy out a year or two of McCutchen’s free-agency time, either through guaranteed money or a club option. That appears to still be on the table for both sides, but money is the separator.
McCutchen is quickly emerging as a superstar – not only is he the Pirates’ best hitter, but his defense has taken a step forward this year as well. He’s currently sixth among position players throughout baseball in Wins Above Replacement (WAR), a statistic that calculates a player’s value both offensively and defensively. His combination of plate discipline, power, athleticism and defensive value is likely to make him very, very valuable in his peak, so the Pirates would be wise to lock him up to an extension soon, if at all possible.