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In a cosmic sense, there is a list of things that will happen and there is a list of things that won’t happen, and the Phillies executing Andrew McCutchen’s $15 million 2022 club option is on the list of things that won’t happen. That’s not to say that McCutchen definitely won’t be on the Phillies in 2022 though.

The current MLB CBA expires at midnight between December 1st and 2nd. Between now and then—and probably past then—there will be much bartering between the MLBPA and the owners. New rule changes and tweaks to the game will be plentiful in 2022, one of which already on the minds of fans, players and personnel alike is the implementation of a universal designated hitter. For better or worse, that decision is now a bargaining chip in the hands of the MLBPA in their fight for a new CBA.

For McCutchen and other poor fielders around baseball, the universal DH is a blessing. Their careers will undoubtedly be extended as National League clubs must no longer worry about trotting out sub-par aging fielders.

Therefore, McCutchen can expect a much wider variety of suitors this free agency, one of which may be the Phillies. The Phillies have a few players primed to become future DHs, from Alec Bohm to Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper, but for now all three are young and still to be tested in the field.


A bold move for the Phillies may be to offer McCutchen a one-year contract for 2022. No longer forced to spend time possibly aggravating his bad knee in left field, McCutchen’s value could soar as a DH. Especially so as he suffered from horrible BABIP luck throughout the 2021 season. McCutchen's career BABIP is .318, but in 2021 it was just .242.

Thus, the Phillies could sign McCutchen to fill a bench/pinch hitter/designated hitter role. He would be more versatile than players like Nelson Cruz or David Ortiz, able to play left field and give much needed rest to players like Harper, Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto who could DH on off days.

However, this possibility all depends on McCutchen’s willingness to re-sign with Philadelphia. Tasked with rebuilding a lackluster bullpen and filling holes at shortstop and center field, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski and the Phillies front office will not be willing to extend McCutchen a lengthy contract. Especially so seeing as Didi Gregorius’ lame-duck $14 million will already be sitting on the bench in 2022.

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