Reds outfielder Jay Bruce’s six-year, $51 million contract extension helps bring Andrew McCutchen’s market value into focus.
McCutchen was the 11th overall pick in 2005. Bruce was drafted 12th.
McCutchen, who debuted in the majors on June 4, 2009, has 1.123 years of service time (262 games). Bruce, who debuted May 27, 2008, has 2.125 years of service time (357 games).
McCutchen’s career stats: .286 batting average, 28 homers, 110 RBI, 55 stolen bases, .365 OBP, .824 OPS.
Bruce’s career stats: .257, 68 homers, 180 RBI, 12 steals, .327 OBP, .800 OPS.
Bruce was eligible for arbitration this year as a “Super Two” player — that is, those with less than three years service time who are among the top 17 percent for cumulative playing time in the majors in this class of players and were on the major league roster for at least 86 days in the previous season.
Unless he also becomes a Super Two, McCutchen won’t be eligible for arbitration until 2013.
The Pirates have not yet approached Steve Hammond, McCutchen’s agent, about a contract extension. But the current market value — $8.5 million a year — is only going to rise the longer they wait.
In March, the Diamondbacks gave outfielder Justin Upton a six-year, $51.25 million contract. Upton was the first overall pick in 2005.
»»» Former third base coach Tony Beasley was named manager of the Nationals’ Double-A affiliate in Harrisburg. The Pirates released Beasley at the end of the season when skipper John Russell was purged.
“I’m very content and blessed!” Beasley told me today in a text message. I’m happy for Beas — he’s one of the finest gentlemen in the game … and also an excellent national anthem singer.