MLB free agency will provide the majority of the rumors and speculation once the postseason concludes, but there are nonetheless a few trade rumors circulating in October.  

Below, we’ll break down two of the big rumors making the rounds.


Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen has been the face of the Pittsburgh Pirates renaissance in recent years, but there is buzz that the team could deal the superstar center fielder.

Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune-Review reported the following earlier in October: “Now there is a growing sense among industry insiders that the team will try to deal McCutchen before he reaches free agency in either one or two years. General manager Neal Huntington likely will quietly shop the five-time All-Star during the offseason, if only to gauge the level of interest.”

McCutchen‘s 2016 was disappointing, to say the least. He hit just .256 with 24 home runs, 79 RBI, 81 runs, six stolen bases and a .766 OPS. His batting average, steals and OPS were all career lows.

That may hurt his value, with Charlie Wilmoth of noting “the team could point to his fine performance down the stretch (he batted .284/.381/.471 from Aug. 1 through season’s end) as evidence that the old Cutch is back, although it’s not clear how convincing that line of argument will be.”

Wilmoth also noted the Pirates could choose to accept a low offer, “figuring it’s better to deal a player who might continue to decline before more poor performances and/or the ticking clock of free agency further depress his value.”

For the Pirates, the decision will likely come down to weighing the difference between what they feel McCutchen can offer in the future and what trade offers come down the pike. If the Pirates still feel McCutchen can be a superstar and 2016 was just an aberration—he just turned 30 years old, after all—they probably will hold off on dealing him.

But if they suspect his best days are behind him and receive a solid offer for his services, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team move on this winter or before next season’s trade deadline. The Pirates seem unlikely to be sentimental when it comes to McCutchen, especially with younger—and cheaper—prospects in the pipeline.


Wade Davis

The Kansas City Royals are receiving phone calls about pitcher Wade Davis and could be inclined to trade him, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball:

The Royals have built their championship teams around strong defense and a special bullpen, but they seem to be willing to consider a trade for Davis at a time they are mandated to cut their payroll from a high of $144 million.

They could also consider a trade for one of their two highest-paid players Alex Gordon or Ian Kennedy but one competing GM opined that the Royals would likely have to offset some of those contracts.

Davis, it seems, is the most likely of the trio to be moved.

He had a strong 2016 season, finishing 2-1 with a 1.87 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, 27 saves and 47 strikeouts in 43.1 innings pitched.

The free-agent market will be rife with star closers, from Aroldis Chapman to Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon. But once that market settles, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a team desperate to upgrade the position call the Royals.

The aforementioned closers will come at astronomical costs, and Davis, as Heyman noted, might ultimately be a bargain. On the other hand, that may make it difficult for the Royals to pull the trigger on dealing him, especially given his excellent 2016.

It’s going to be an interesting offseason for the Royals.


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