Late Monday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates continued to be busy this offseason when they jumped on the chance to acquire Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee in exchange for reliever Jose Veras.
McGehee became expendable when the Brewers signed former Buc Aramis Rameriz and Pirates GM Neal Huntington acted quickly to get McGehee in a Pirates uniform.
He’s came out of nowhere to have a very productive 2009 and 2010 seasons in which he combined to hit 39 homers and drive in 170 runs, combining to hit .291 in what amounted to a year and a half of at bats. He fell off dramatically last season where he fought injuries and only hit .223 with 13 homers and 67 RBI.
The RBI numbers may be taken with a grain of salt since McGehee was playing in Miller Park and had the luxury of hitting behind Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, but he’s still a solid right-handed bat with power.
He will see at bats at both first and third base and is immediate insurance if Pedro Alvarez struggles. The pressure will be on Pedro to perform right away. If he struggles out of the gate, he will start to lose at bats quickly.
As for Veras, he had a real good season a year ago, but he’s likely not to duplicate that again. Huntington dealt him at the proper time and this deal is a win for the Bucs.
– The Pirates made another good move bringing back reliever Jason Grilli. He pitched well since being acquired by the Bucs and at $1.1 million it’s a bargain signing.
– The Bucs also tendered contracts to Joel Hanrahan, Garrett Jones, Charlie Morton, Chris Resop, Jeff Karstens, and Evan Meek. They also tendered McGehee who was also arbitration eligible. That means there is no one currently on the 40-man roster who is non-tendered.
– The Pirates also came to terms with reliever Ryota Igarashi who previously pitched with the Mets. This is more of a depth move and it would be a surprise if he made the team.
– Jon Heyman reports that the Bucs are still in on Derrick Lee. If the Bucs can bring back Lee, it’s been a pretty good offseason.
– If anything, the Bucs have improved by default. No Albert Puljos or Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun is likely out for the first 50-games of the season. The National League Central isn’t very good and if the Bucs can continue to improve, who knows?
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