Andrew McCutchen, who was once the cream of the crop in centerfield, is nearing the end of his career. McCutchen, who signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, his first MLB home, this past offseason, is already 37 years old. But it looks like he has plenty of gas left in the tank, after he went 2-5 with a home run in a 9-2 Pirates win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.

In fact, the latest home run McCutchen hit was the 300th of his 16-year big-league career. That is a cause for celebration, as not too many players reach that kind of milestone. Alas, McCutchen did it against a former team of his, the Phillies.

Now, Andrew McCutchen was able to take in the fact that he is beloved by both the Pirates and Phillies fanbase, with the latter giving him his much-deserved flowers after his 300-home run feat on Sunday. But he revealed that he wishes that he had performed better during his time playing for Philadelphia, as he struggled mightily in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

“It’s kind of hard to be liked on both sides of the state. It’s nice. I got a pretty good ovation from the fans. … They show a lot of appreciation for the three short years I was here and I appreciate that because I was a guy making $20 million and one year I wasn’t holding my end of the bargain and I felt like I should have done better,” McCutchen said, via ESPN.

Andrew McCutchen's personality and professionalism has made him a lovable figure wherever he goes, even uniting fans from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, sworn Pennsylvania sports rivals, in the process. This is the case even though McCutchen had a terrible 2020 season where he put up a -0.1 WAR. Even 2019 was disappointing since he wasn't able to stay on the field.

At the very least, McCutchen ended his Phillies stint on a much better note, hitting 27 home runs and driving in 80 runs on a .222/.334/.444 slash line.

Andrew McCutchen, a Pirates legend through and through

Andrew McCutchen was a star for the Pirates from the immediacy of his arrival in the major leagues. In his rookie campaign back in 2009, McCutchen put up a 3.4 WAR, thanks to his all-around skillset that allowed him to get on base consistently and wreak havoc on the basepaths.

The power production came later; in 2011, McCutchen hit 23 home runs, setting off a run of eight consecutive years where he hit at least 20 long balls, including 31 in 2013. He mostly became a power hitter in the latter stages of his career, but it's still with the Pirates where he has done the most damage. Of his 300 career home runs, 216 have come for Pittsburgh.

Can Cutch find some team success to end his career?

Despite being one of the best players in the league in his heyday, Andrew McCutchen does not have much team success throughout his career. He has made the postseason just once in his career, and that was during a short stint with the New York Yankees in 2018. The Pirates are a much-improved team in 2024, however, so it appears as though good things are in store for McCutchen, repaying the veteran's faith in the franchise that helped nurture him.

It's certainly a bit of unfortunate timing that McCutchen wasn't around for when the Phillies blossomed into a stellar postseason team that came ever so close to winning the World Series in 2022. But McCutchen looks like he has a few more years left of productive baseball in him, and the Pirates, at least in the early goings of the 2024 season, are in a position to give him a chance at contending.