McCutchen was the team's center fielder for past eight seasons, but he will be replaced by Starling Marte, while Gregory Polanco will move to left field.
The 30-year-old McCutchen hasn't played an inning in right field in his major league career. He has played 1,175 games in center field for the Pirates and won a Gold Glove in 2012.
"After a detailed evaluation, various considerations and many conversations, we have discussed with each of our outfielders the defensive alignment that we will employ. That alignment will be Gregory in left field, Starling in center and Andrew in right. We believe this alignment will maximize our outfield production," Hurdle said in a statement.
"Our men were very professional and respectful of the team and each other throughout the process, and are selfless in helping us strengthen our team defensively."
McCutchen won the National League MVP award in 2013, but his numbers dropped off last season when he hit just .256 with 24 home runs and 79 RBIs. McCutchen, who was the subject of trade speculation this offseason, owns a .292 career batting average, along with 175 homers and 637 RBIs.