Andrew McCutchen joined the Pirates organization as a teenager. In Pittsburgh, he became an MVP, five-time All-Star and face of the franchise, leading a team that suffered 20 straight losing seasons to three straight playoff appearances.
Just 10 months ago, McCutchen named his first born son Steel, after his adopted home.
Now, the Yankees outfielder is with his third team in less than a year — and exactly where he wants to be.
“Going to a franchise like the Yankees, it doesn’t get much better than this,” McCutchen said Tuesday. “I could easily be home right now, watching the games. I’ve done that the past couple of years.
“It just goes to show how unpredictable the game is. I would’ve never predicted being here. I would’ve never predicted being in San Francisco. You just never know what the game is going to present you with.”
If McCutchen were in Pittsburgh, his season would be done. If he were still in San Francisco, his postseason hopes would have ended months ago.
Back in the playoffs for the first time since 2015, McCutchen will appear in his fourth wild-card game Wednesday night when the Yankees host the A’s. In his three previous appearances, McCutchen went 4-for-13 with three walks. In eight postseason games, McCutchen has hit .321.
“When you play a one-game playoff, you know it can be any team, and it’s all gonna come down to pitching, whoever’s on that day,” McCutchen said. “That’s what I’ve come to realize.”
Since being acquired by the Yankees on Aug. 31, McCutchen has hit .253 with five home runs, but earned a regular spot in the lineup by drawing 22 walks in 25 games, while carrying a .421 on-base percentage.
Though the soon-to-be 32-year-old will never be better than he was while sporting black and gold, the greatest month of his career could come in pinstripes.
“To be here at this moment is great,” McCutchen said. “A lot of guys are home right now, and I still have the opportunity to be here and push forward and win a championship. I’m trying to enjoy and take advantage of it and appreciate being here.”
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