While Giancarlo Stanton appears to be the Giants’ optimal trade target, Andrew McCutchen could be an amazing fallback option.

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The Giants have typically been connected to Marlins outfielder and also prime trade candidate Giancarlo Stanton this offseason, and also numerous insiders have argued they’re the favorite to get the 2017 NL MVP. In the occasion that they ultimately don’t gain Stanton, however, they’ve had ongoing discussions through the Pirates around the opportunity of acquiring outfielder Andrew McCutchen, as MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported Wednesday.

McCutchen, 31, is heading right into the last season that his contract and also could be a good fit for a Giants club the is likely to embrace a youth activity next offseason if castle don’t return to serious contention in 2018. Though the five-time All-Star and 2013 NL MVP looked to it is in in decline in 2016, posting a career-worst .256/.336/.430 slash line v 24 homers and a career-low six steals, the recovered unique this previous season, hitting .279/.363/.486 v 28 house runs and 11 stolen bases.

McCutchen has typically been talked around as a profession candidate in current years as the Pirates have dropped back to the middle of the fill in the NL Central, yet Pittsburgh has actually held ~ above him come this point, picking to embrace his condition as a franchise icon who has a possibility to spend his entire career in a Pirates uniform. However if the Pittsburgh front office is planning on letting the walk ~ 2018 anyway—which seems to be less of a opportunity than it to be a year back now that prospect Austin Meadows has actually muddied his status as McCutchen’s eventual successor—then it might make feeling to get whatever they have the right to for him right currently and fully embrace a rebuild.

In a controversial move, the Pirates moved McCutchen come right field last winter as they search to open up facility field for Starling Marte. But after Marte to be suspended because that a violation the baseball’s PED plan on April 18, McCutchen moved back to his organic position of center field and also remained there v the end of the season.

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While McCutchen’s protective metrics bounced earlier a bit in 2017—he finished with -16 defensive runs conserved after finishing v -28 in 2016—it’s still an overwhelming to envision the Giants permitting him to patrol at & t Park’s spacious center field if lock have any real on purpose of boosting defensively after ~ a horrid 2017 season. If they were to acquire McCutchen, they can position that in a corner spot and also sign a cheaper free agent such as Jarrod Dyson or Austin Jackson to play center, or they might turn to an in-house choice like Steven Duggar or Austin Slater.

With the Giants’ chef priority this offseason seeming to be their capacity to upgrade the corner outfield spots—both by plugging the feet in left ar that continued to be a trouble throughout 2017, and by limiting Hunter Pence’s playing time moving forward—McCutchen might be a reasonable fit in mountain Francisco even if he no play facility field.