Monday, March 5, 2012

Reaction: McCutchen Signs an Extension!

First, I just gotta steal this video from Charlie's thread over at BucsDugout.  It relates my feelings of euphoria and joy perfectly.  Plus you can dance to it.

If you somehow haven't heard, the Pirates signed Andrew McCutchen to an extension.  Other than possibly the fact that McCutchen has actually evolved into a superstar (or an emerging superstar for the more cautious crowd), this is the crowning develoment of my Pirates fandom.  Granted, while I've been a Pirates fan my whole life, I really only began to follow and understand baseball since 2008.  As such, that statement must be taken with a grain of salt.

One of my favorite aspects of this signing is I can just ramble.  Everyone is so excited - at least I am - that they will forgive incoherency.  What am I even talking about? I don't know.. but the Pirates signed McCutchen to an extension!!  I didn't even have to worry about a transition from the last paragraph to this one. Did you notice? Probably not.  If you did, you still didn't really care.  See, that's what euphoria feels like and my point is proven.  If you don't even know what point I'm talking about, point proven even more.

Pulling it together, the contract details are as follows.  McCutchen, who was scheduled to be arbitration eligible starting next season, will now be paid 51.5 million dollars over the next six years.  The Pirates hold a team option for an extra year at 14.75 million, with a one million dollar buyout.  At the beginning of the weekend, McCutchen was scheduled to become a free agent after the 2015 season.  Trade rumors and speculation swirled and McCutchen's future in a Pirates uniform was in doubt.  By the end of the weekend, all that had changed.  Now the Pirates have the option of keeping McCutchen in a Pirates uniform as late as 2018.  The Pirates have locked up a centerpiece to build around for the next seven years.  That's huge.

Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon.  Those are two key names on a list of players that provide hope for the future for the Pirates.  Expanding the list adds guys like Robbie Grossman, Starling Marte, and Tony Sanchez.  That's the future and the future is still two, maybe three years away.  With McCutchen scheduled to leave after 2015, the window was very narrow to put all those pieces on the field together.  Now the window just expanded significantly.  Alvarez will still be around for the 2016 season.  Same with Neil Walker.  Jose Tabata can be kept through 2019.  Obviously Neal Huntington wants to win and win soon.  Hopefully it happens this year.  However, even if it doesn't Huntington now can wait a year or two and still build around McCutchen.  Now instead of a miracle run in 2014 or 2015, the Pirates have a chance to build a mini-dynasty around their centerfield that will allow them to be competitive for a three or four year period.  That's huge and it's reason for euphoria, at least my euphoria.  Plus, now my name will stay relevant longer.  Now back to dancing.