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Pirates

Pirates winter meetings update: Could Andrew McCutchen head to San Francisco?

| Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, 11:24 a.m.
New Yankee Giancarlo Stanton answers questions during a press conference at the Major League Baseball winter meetings in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.)
New Yankee Giancarlo Stanton answers questions during a press conference at the Major League Baseball winter meetings in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The San Francisco Giants need a center fielder and shifted their focus elsewhere after being rebuffed by Giancarlo Stanton. That creates at least the possibility that Andrew McCutchen will wear black and orange instead of black and gold on opening day.

According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Giants might not need a long-term solution in their outfield.

That doesn't necessarily nuke the possibility that McCutchen could be dealt to San Francisco. McCutchen, 31, is in the final year of his contract, so he could fit as a one-year caretaker.

No homecoming

John Heyman of FanRag reported free agent Neil Walker is seeking a four-year contract. That explains why the Pirates have not made any contact with Walker's agent.

No Christmas Cole

Texas Rangers skipper Jeff Banister knows Gerrit Cole well and surely would love to have the righty in his rotation. But, as the New York Yankees also discovered yesterday, the Pirates are being clingy when it comes to their staff ace.

It's a free country

During PiratesFest, Sean Rodriguez lobbied for McCutchen to be retained and alluded to the Mark Melancon trade in 2016 as "a big piece of the core was chipped off."

Rodriguez appeared to pin the blame own ownership instead of general manager Neal Huntington: "I get it, I know there's a business side to it. I don't know who's at the forefront of it … well, kind of do. I'm not taking shots at Neal, because it was not necessarily him."

When asked about Rodriguez's comments, Huntington chose his words carefully.

"I respect a player's passion," Huntington said. "I respect Sean and the leadership he shows in our clubhouse. We want them to be passionate. We want them to believe they can win. We want them to feel like they want us to be in with them. Those are Sean's feelings and I respect those a ton."

Huntington indicated he wouldn't meet with Rodriguez to discuss what was said.

"I'm not sure it's feasible to connect with a player every time something is written about them or every time something they've said is taken one way or another. They're professionals, we're professionals and we work hard to respect them and anticipate we can earn their respect in the process, as well."

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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