From Michael Sanserino at the PG:
Source: #Pirates and Andrew McCutchen agree on a 6-year contract worth $51.5 m with a club option for $14.75 m.— Michael Sanserino (@msanserino) March 5, 2012
When word leaked out earlier this week that McCutchen's camp was looking for a deal in the neighborhood of the deals that Jay Bruce and Justin Upton have, I figured that had to be a good sign. McCutchen is worth that kind of money; frankly, the Pirates would have to be pretty hard-headed and tight-fisted to try and haggle him down from that level and really, my biggest question for a while has been if McCutchen wanted to sign this kind of deal. The fact that he was willing to sign away two years of free agency meant that the Pirates pretty much had to match his asking price, so long as it was reasonable.
A few days later and now it looks like they will. Sanserino's report pegs the deal at almost exactly the same as Upton's and Bruce's, but the Pirates managed to get an option year as well. We already knew that McCutchen would be a Pirate through 2015, now we've got certainty for 2016 and 2017, too. It's hard to see how this is anything except great news.
Really, this is what McCutchen is worth, and the Pirates are giving it to him. We've seen the Pirates come through on their promise to spend more on the draft, but seeing them commit real money to real big leaguers is really, really good to see. Honestly, it's more relieving than anything. Even without one pitch thrown in the 2012 season, 2015 has been blinking in big red numbers in my head. Will Cole and Taillon be ready by then? Will Bell? What if we get to 2014 and we still don't know exactly what we have in those guys and other prospects? Would the Pirates have to trade McCutchen then? Would they have to consider it sooner?
Now, we know they've got a couple more years. Let's hope that the Pirates make the most of them.
UPDATE: Here's the full PG story, from Sanserino and Bill Brink. And here's the FanGraphs analysis, which includes the phrase, "Pittsburgh fans, dance in the streets."
I suppose this would be sufficient evidence that the Pirates are interested in something besides squirreling away dollars for the bottom line, and that the club will commit to doing what needs to be done to contend, but I don't have that much faith in The Asylum, some of whom I guess will whine that Walker wasn't extended first.
It's getting slippy out there. I recommend putting down salt before dancing in the streets. I'm going to go do that right now!