The New York Yankees added some offensive insurance on Friday, acquiring outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the San Francisco Giants. The veteran McCutchen gives New York options as it waits on the unknown return of Aaron Judge from a chip fracture in his left wrist.
The deal was first reported Thursday night by Buster Olney of ESPN and Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area, with Joel Sherman of the New York Post adding that San Francisco would receive a pair of minor leaguers in the trade.
New York sent infielder Abiatal Avelino and pitcher Juan De Paula to San Francisco to complete the deal.
Major League Baseball’s deadline to add players to an organization for postseason eligibility is Friday night. Players must be in an organization by 11:59 p.m. ET on August 31 in order to be able to play in the playoffs.
New York despite blowing a lead in the ninth inning of a loss on Thursday to the Detroit Tigers, still owns the second-best record in baseball (84-50) and is on pace for 102 wins. They just happen to be in the same division as the Boston Red Sox, who lead the Yankees by 8½ games. But New York has a comfortable lead on a playoff spot, sitting in the top Wild Card spot and nine games ahead of the Seattle Mariners, in third position on the outside looking in.
McCutchen, 31, is hitting .255/.357/.415 this season with 15 home runs and 28 doubles in his first season with the Giants after several All-Star years and in Pittsburgh, including an MVP campaign in 2013.
He will help the Yankees as they await the return of Aaron Judge, who hasn’t played since suffering a chip fracture in his left wrist on a hit by pitch on July 26. Judge has yet to swing a bat since suffering the injury.
“We’re not quite there yet, but I think today was a good day, another positive step forward for him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Thursday, per MLB.com. “He ramped up some things after a pretty much light day yesterday, so he’s making progress, but [it’s] slow still.”
Yankees outfielders in August are hitting just .201/.297/.336 as a group. McCutchen this month is hitting .244/.376/.422 with four home runs.
McCutchen, who reportedly cleared waivers last week, is making $14.75 million in 2018, and with 31 days left in the season has roughly $2.445 million remaining in salary the rest of the way. The Giants sent the Yankees cash in the deal.
McCutchen will be a free agent at season’s end.