Plotner and his partner Ben Ross got the idea of making colorful bow ties out of feathers five years after Ross made ties out of turkey feathers as gifts for his groomsmen in 2007.
Now they’re making bow ties out of feathers from peacocks, pheasants, turkeys and partridges.
“We think our product goes together perfectly with Cam’s sense of style,’’ Plotner said.
Newton began making a fashion statement this season with his hats made by a third-generation hatmaker in the Los Angeles area who said the 27-year-old star asked for a feather in each.
Those two, however, were past their prime and both teams were facing rebuilding situations. McCutchen is just 30 years old, and though he had a poor 2016, he finished fifth in the MVP balloting in 2015. The Pirates fell under .500 in 2016, but they made the playoffs the previous three seasons and certainly will have postseason aspirations for 2017.
The Phillies certainly need outfield help and have plenty of room on the payroll, but they’re still transitioning from rebuilder to contender and are more likely to spend their money in free agency in a year or two.
The Dodgers certainly need a right-handed bat. They could slide Howie Kendrick back to second base to replace Chase Utley and trade for McCutchen to play left field. This analysis also suggests that Dodgers have more money to spend this offseason than any other team, so picking up McCutchen’s salary wouldn’t be a problem.
Two teams that didn’t show up on either list above are the Mariners and Blue Jays. The Mariners need a left fielder after cutting Aoki (and Franklin Gutierrez is a free agent) and their lineup leans left-handed, aside from Nelson Cruz. Their outfield defense wasn’t good in 2016, however, so they’d be betting on McCutchen being OK as a left fielder. In need of starting pitchers, the Pirates would want Taijuan Walker or James Paxton. Jose Bautista and Michael Saunders are both free agents, opening up two outfield slots in Toronto if they don’t re-sign those guys. The Jays and Pirates made a deal for Francisco Liriano, so these front offices have swung trades before.
What will the Pirates end up doing? We don’t know what they know about McCutchen’s health, but my guess is they’d rather trade him a year too early rather than a year too late. It won’t be an easy thing to do, of course. He’s a fan favorite and one of the best ambassadors for the game on any team. This, however, is what small-market teams have to do: They churn talent and have to turn veterans into usable younger players. I think McCutchen will get traded (and I’ll bet on the Dodgers).