Cincinnati Reds showing interest in free agent Andrew McCutchen

The Cincinnati Reds are one of several teams showing interest in free agent outfielder Andrew McCutchen according to Buster Olney of ESPN. Outfield is one of the, if not the weakest spot on the roster for the Reds. As things sit right now there’s not a single outfielder on the 40-man roster who is penciled into the opening day lineup.

Things were a bit up-and-down for Andrew McCutchen in 2022, but they were mostly down. Overall on the season he hit .237/.316/.385 – good for an OPS of exactly .700 and good for an OPS+ of 99 (making him the tiniest amount of below-average at the plate). But he had one big month during the year. In June the now 36-year-old hit .315/.411/.500 as he posted a .911 OPS. In the other five months of the season his OPS totals were .639, .501, .750, .648, and .687. That .750 OPS was solid, but being under the .700 mark for four months isn’t a promising sign.

In April and May, Andrew McCutchen didn’t do a whole lot of walking. He had just 10 total walks in 167 plate appearances. But from June through the end of the year he had 47 walks in 413 plate appearances. That’s a 6% walk rate jumping up to an 11.3% walk rate – nearly double. That’s good to see if you’re looking for a reason why he may be able to rebound some despite being 36. But he also hit just .211 in the second half of the season and his strikeout rate went from 19% to 24%.

Defensively the days of McCutchen playing center on a daily basis seem to be over. He spent almost all of his time in the corners last season when he wasn’t the designated hitter – which he was more than anything else. Interesting note here is that he was significantly worse at the plate when he was the designated hitter than when he was playing in the field (just a .653 OPS as the DH).

It’s likely that Andrew McCutchen would upgrade the Reds roster for 2023. But the upgrade would likely be minimal unless something unexpected were to happen.

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