McCutchen: 'Pirates uniform is part of who I am'

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

If there was any concern over Andrew McCutchen's desire to remain with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, the former National League MVP put it to rest Friday in a piece for the Players' Tribune discussing his offseason and the front office's decision to shift him from center field to right field.

"I'm not gonna lie. I Googled my own name more than a few times this offseason to see if there was any news. ... It's always the things that haven't happened yet that scare us the most," McCutchen wrote. "The fear of the unknown. And I honestly didn't know where I was going to play baseball in 2017."

McCutchen was almost involved in a trade to the Washington Nationals before the club opted to deal for Adam Eaton instead. Once trade talk cooled down, the five-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner was told he would no longer be the team's center fielder. Though he always thought he'd change positions when he was older, he wasn't expecting to be told it was already time.

Despite being initially skeptical of the switch, McCutchen says he's looking to follow in the footsteps of Pirates legend Roberto Clemente as the team tries to get back to the postseason after missing out last year.

"I think the main thing I would want anybody to know about this offseason, or about where I am in my career, is that I'm still the same guy I've always been," McCutchen wrote. "Things may change - positions, stats, rumors, whatever - but I've always felt that it was important to stay true to myself and just be me.

"And the city of Pittsburgh and wearing a Pirates uniform is just a part of who I am. ... I'm a Pirate. I don't want to be anything else."