The Pirates traded former All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen and $2.5 million to the San Francisco Giants for RHP Kyle Crick, minor league outfielder Bryan Reynolds and $500,000 in international signing bonus pool money on Monday.
The Mets were "exploring" a trade for McCutchen, John Harper of NY Daily News said Thursday on SNY's Baseball Night in New York.
McCutchen and/or teammate INF Josh Harrison have reportedly been potential trade targets for the Mets, according to Steven Marcus of Newsday. The Mets' interest in McCutchen was first reported on Jan. 5 by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
The Mets, who have reportedly been open to dealing Juan Lagares, recently agreed to a three-year deal with OF/1B Jay Bruce.
McCutchen rebounded in 2017 after a down year in 2016, hitting .279/.363/.486 with 28 HR and 88 RBI. The 31-year-old, who made $14 million last season, has one year and $14.5 million left on his contract.
He is a career .291/.379/.487 hitter with 203 HR in nine career seasons, all of which have been spent with the Pirates.
McCutchen played 139 games in center field and 13 games in right field last season, and was worth -14 DRS (defensive runs saved). He was worth -28 DRS in the outfield in 2016.
Regarding Harrison, the Mets' inability to trade for Ian Kinsler and the seemingly high odds of Jason Kipnis remaining with the Indians has made him one of the better fits as they seek to acquire a second baseman. The Yankees and Blue Jays have also been connected to Harrison.
Harrison, 30, hit .272/.339/.432 with 16 home runs and 47 RBI while being worth 6 DRS at second base last season as he made the All-Star Game for the second time in his seven-year career. Since debuting in 2011, he has hit .281/.321/.414 with 44 home runs and 232 RBI in 745 games.
He will earn $10 million in 2018, and has team options for $10.5 million and $11.5 million in 2019 and 2020, respectively.