Rob Biertempfel has details on possible extension talks between the Pirates and star outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
A team source Sunday told the Tribune-Review that the Pirates do not consider the initial gap of about $10 million between the sides to be insurmountable.
McCutchen, the No. 11 pick in the 2005 draft, turned down offers before the 2010 and ’11 seasons. No substantial talks have been held since last year, when the sides were far apart on financial terms.
McCutchen’s camp likes the $51 million deals given to Arizona’s Justin Upton and Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce, two other standout outfielders from the 2005 draft class. The Pirates prefer a package closer to $40 million.
If the gap between McCutchen and the Pirates is only around $10 million, it sounds like there’s hope that the Bucs can eventually get something done. The key here is that McCutchen is currently due to become a free agent after the 2015 season. By signing McCutchen to an extension, the Pirates would want to ensure that they’ll be able to keep him around longer than that. McCutchen’s well-rounded skill set and good health make him a good bet to be productive well into his 30s, so signing him to a long-term deal would be a good idea, if the financial terms are reasonable.
For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.