5-time All-Star returning to team with which he won MVP: ‘Where it all began’

 

Andrew McCutchen is going home.

The five-time All-Star is headed back to where it all started after he and the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to a one-year deal.

McCutchen won the National League MVP Award with the Pirates in 2013. He was a top-five finisher in the vote each year from 2012 to 2015 and was a finalist in three of those years. The Pirates selected him with the 11th pick of the 2005 MLB Draft.

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National League All-Star Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates bats during the 84th MLB All-Star Game July 16, 2013, at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
(Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

McCutchen tweeted a photo of himself with his two children looking at his MVP trophy on his wall while he wore a Pirates jersey.

“Where it all began,” he wrote.

The 36-year-old revived a Pirate team that had not made the postseason for 20 straight seasons. His MVP campaign led Pittsburgh to an NL wild-card game in 2013. That game is now known as “The Cueto Game” as fans mockingly chanted Johnny Cueto’s name on the mound. After he was clearly rattled, he dropped the ball on the mound, and his next pitch resulted in a Russell Martin home run.

The Pirates clinched a wild-card berth in each season from 2013 to 2015 but have failed to make the postseason since.

Before the 2018 season, Pittsburgh traded McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants, who traded him to the New York Yankees that August.

Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park Sept. 3, 2016, in Pittsburgh.
(Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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He signed a three-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies before the 2019 season, and he spent this past season with the Milwaukee Brewers.

As a member of the Pirates for nine years, McCutchen hit .291 with an .866 OPS. His .384 slugging percentage and .700 OPS in 2022 were the worst marks of his career.

Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park Sept. 7, 2016, in Pittsburgh.
(Justin Berl/Getty Images)

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The Pirates could trade Bryan Reynolds at any moment. The Pirates acquired him from San Francisco in exchange for McCutchen. So, McCutchen’s everyday role is up in the air. For now, he’s likely a rotational outfielder who could see more time if Reynolds departs.