Casey McGehee Rumors

Giants Designate Casey McGehee For Assignment

The Giants announced this morning that Casey McGehee has been designated for assignment in order to clear space on the 40-man roster for infielder Ehire Adrianza, whose contract has been purchased from Triple-A.

There was some confusion surrounding McGehee’s first removal from the roster this year. The Giants announced that he’d been designated for assignment, but McGehee had merely been designated off the 25-man roster in order to be optioned to Triple-A. As a player with five-plus years of big league service, he had the right to refuse the option, but he accepted and remained on the 40-man roster.

Today, the Giants explicitly stated in the announcement that McGehee has been removed from the 40-man roster, making this a standard DFA in which the team will now have 10 days to trade McGehee, release or attempt to outright McGehee. (He could refuse an outright assignment without forfeiting his 2015 salary due to service time.)

McGehee was acquired from the Marlins this offseason in a trade that sent Luis Castillo and Kendry Flores to Miami. San Francisco had hoped that McGehee would produce something similar to the .285/.355/.357 batting line he posted in his return to the Majors last season, helping in part to offset the loss of former franchise cornerstone Pablo Sandoval.

That hasn’t been the case, however, as McGehee has struggled to a .213/.275/.299 batting line in 138 plate appearances this season. He did hit well in his initial demotion to Triple-A, slashing .357/.391/.571 with two homers in 46 plate appearances, though, and he’s batted 5-for-17 with a pair of doubles and three walks since rejoining the big league club.

McGehee, though, didn’t receive a crack at regular playing time upon being brought back from Triple-A due to the strong play of Matt Duffy at the hot corner. Duffy has slashed .303/.349/.491 this season, usurping McGehee as the everyday third baseman and leaving him without a clear path to playing time as a member of the Giants.

This offseason, McGehee avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $4.8MM contract. He’s still owed $2.54MM of that salary, so it seems unlikely that a team would claim him off waivers and take on the remainder of that deal. However, the Giants will have the ability to eat some cash in a potential trade of McGehee, and teams with interest could also simply wait to see if McGehee ends up a free agent, at which point he could be signed for the pro-rated version of the league minimum. (That portion of his salary would then come off the Giants’ books, though they’d still be responsible for the lion’s share of his remaining contract.)


Minor Moves: McGehee, McGowan, Schebler, Venditte, Marrero, Mooneyham, Demeritte

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • Several notable players are en route to the big leagues. The Giants have brought back third baseman Casey McGehee after he hit well in a brief Triple-A stint (having accepted an optional assignment). Fellow veteran Dustin McGowan, a right-hander, has been recalled by the Phillies; he had been outrighted off the 40-man earlier in the year. And the Dodgers have called up outfielder Scott Schebler, the organization’s minor league player of the year in 2013, who will see his first MLB action. He was placed on the club’s 40-man roster last year, though his numbers have fallen off somewhat early this season after two consecutive .900+ OPS campaigns in the high minors.
  • Most exciting of all, perhaps, is the news that the Athletics have announced that switch-pitcher Pat Venditte has been added to the big league roster. A nearly-unprecedented hurler, Venditte reverses the very idea of platoons by moving seamlessly between pitching with his right and left arms. He’s been outstanding this year at Triple-A, tossing 33 frames of 1.36 ERA ball with 9.0 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9. The 29-year-old has been particularly stingy when facing lefties, holding them to a remarkable .095/.136/.095 slash.
  • First baseman Chris Marrero has reached a minor league deal with the White Sox, Mike Ashmore of MyCentralJersey.com writes. The former Nationals prospect, now 26, had been playing with the indy league Somerset Patriots. He’ll report to Double-A for the Chicago organization.
  • The Nationals have released lefty Brett Mooneyham, who was their third-round pick in the 2012 draft, Matt Eddy of Baseball America tweets. Mooneyham, a 25-year-old Stanford product, has struggled badly with control and shifted exclusively to the pen at the A-ball level this year. He owned just a 6.41 ERA over 19 2/3 frames with 16 strikeouts against 13 walks.
  • Rangers prospect Travis Demeritte, a first-round pick in 2013, has been hit with an 80-game suspension for using banned substances, Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest reports on Twitter. The infielder was repeating the Sally League at age 20. Over 664 plate appearances at the level, he owns a .220/.320/.438 slash with 30 long balls and 16 stolen bases but a whopping 240 strikeouts.

NL West Notes: Jansen, Kendrick, Lee, McGehee, Lyles

The sudden nature of Kenley Jansen‘s unavailability on Wednesday evening led to a good deal of speculation following the contest, especially when the Dodgers saw a two-run ninth-inning lead turn into a loss after Jansen’s bullpen mates couldn’t hold off the Rockies. After the game, manager Don Mattingly told reporters that Jansen wasn’t available and that he learned as much during the game, but he provided no further details. Bill Plunkett of the O.C. Register was among those to report yesterday, however, that Mattingly was merely respecting his closer’s wishes. Jansen woke up Wednesday morning feeling sick and dehydrated, and he told the team in the fifth inning of the game. Given his symptoms and history of heart problems, the Dodgers game him an IV and performed an electrocardiogram, after which the doctor recommended that he not play. Jansen said frustration and feeling as though he let the team down were the reasons that he did not wish to address the media Wednesday evening. The 27-year-old righty has been perfect since returning from the DL this season, firing six scoreless innings with an 11-to-0 K/BB ratio.

Here’s more from the NL West…

  • In other Dodgers injury news, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports (Twitter links) that Howie Kendrick, who was injured while sliding into third base on Wednesday, underwent an MRI that revealed no structural damage. Kendrick, however said he “[doesn’t] know what will happen” if the knee is not feeling any better today, suggesting that he could miss a bit of time with the injury. Gurnick also says that right-handed pitching prospect Zach Lee has been experiencing a tingling sensation in his fingers and is being examined by doctors in Los Angeles. That’s a troublesome ailment for a team that is working with a thin rotation. Lee, long regarded as one of L.A.’s more promising arms, has a 2.38 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 56 1/3 innings at Triple-A this season.
  • Giants GM Bobby Evans addressed the team’s third base situation in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM yesterday and indicated that recently optioned Casey McGehee could return in the near future (Twitter links). Said Evans: “We’ve given Matt Duffy a long look there and we’ll continue to, there’s a chance McGehee could be back up here soon as well. We’ll continue to monitor that, but we have fallback options in that area.” The Giants will certainly hope that McGehee can solidify the position, and he does indeed seem to have corrected his swing at Triple-A. In 46 plate appearances with Sacramento, McGehee is hitting a hefty .357/.391/.571 with a pair of homers and three doubles. Giants third basemen are hitting .255/.294/.380, though McGehee’s own struggles at the plate have contributed to that rather unimpressive collective effort.
  • Rockies right-hander Jordan Lyles, who is out for the season due to a foot injury that he describes as “Tommy John for my toe” (Lyles has a torn ligament in his big toe), knew that he needed surgery when he took the hill for his last outing, writes the Denver Post’s Nick Groke“I was trying to hold off the inevitable,” said Lyles. “They didn’t think I’d be able to handle the pain. But being a hard-head, I said, ‘Well, let’s see about that.'” Lyles said that making the final start, which he left in the second inning, didn’t worsen his injury anymore, as the damage had already been done. Rather, he took the mound simply because he “was trying to be a good teammate.” Lyles adds that during his last injury absence, he developed a split-fingered changeup to add to his pitch arsenal. “Now I’ve got a few more months to find something else,” he told Groke.


NL Notes: Cubs, Nationals, Strasburg, Heyward, Gosewisch, Giants

Earlier, we discussed a report from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times indicating that the Cubs will be players if Ben Zobrist is marketed. In that piece, he also discusses the team’s need for pitching. Chicago is “in the mix” for Rafael Soriano and could also be interested in Diamondbacks lefty Oliver Perez. Discussing the team’s summer plans, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein hinted that the club will be looking hard at additions — as Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago said he expected on last week’s MLBTR podcast“We’re trying to balance short- and long-term interests,” said Epstein. “But we’re in a situation [in which] we have a fairly competitive team right now, and we have some needs. So you don’t ignore that. You keep it in mind. But at the same time you can’t just go out and unilaterally add.”

  • Nationals GM Mike Rizzo indicated that he believes the club can get by with internal options like Michael Taylor and Tyler Moore while Jayson Werth recovers from a fractured wrist, as Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. The left-handed-hitting Clint Robinson could also see time. My own guess is that another lefty bat could be acquired if the right player becomes available, but that the team will not be aggressive unless the need becomes more apparent. It’s worth recalling, too, that Matt den Dekker is still available at Triple-A, with Nate McLouth still a possible candidate to return later in the year.
  • Stephen Strasburg left tonight’s start for the Nationals after just five batters. As Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com reports (Twitter links), Strasburg is said to have suffered a left trap muscle issue of some kind. The righty, who has struggled uncharacteristically, said that his neck tightened up so much that he had trouble turning his head. While it does not appear that there is any concern with arm issues, Strasburg’s general difficulties and neck and back issues are certainly an increasing problem for him and the club.
  • Cardinals GM John Mozeliak says he does not have any retrospective qualms over his acquisition of outfielder Jason Heyward, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. Heyward has shown some signs of life after a rough start, but the outstanding early performance of Shelby Miller stands in stark contrast at present. “I think whenever you make those kind of deals, there are reasons behind it,” Mozeliak explained. “And at the time, we felt that we had to do something. Not only looking at how we want this club to be put together, but we did not feel like there might be any other opportunities that would meet the type of criteria we’re looking for.” 
  • Though he has not yet been evaluated, injured Diamondbacks catcher Tuffy Gosewisch says a radiologist that looked at the MRI on his knee believes he may have a torn ACL, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic tweets. Certainly, that would mean a disappointing end to the year for the 31-year-old, who has struggled at the plate in his opportunity at a starting role. Arizona has called up recent signee Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who will presumably take a good portion of the time behind the dish.
  • Several Giants players have upcoming opt-out dates, Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News writes. Righty Kevin Correia can become a free agent on the first of June, while third baseman Casey McGehee can opt out on June 5.

Casey McGehee Accepts Minor League Assignment, Remains On 40-Man Roster

TUESDAY: The Giants announced that McGehee has accepted an assignment to Triple-A Sacramento, but the team announced that he has been optioned — not outrighted — to the minors.

MLBTR has confirmed that McGehee remains on the club’s 40-man roster and was never technically designated for assignment, despite a prior announcement. As a player with five-plus years of Major League service time and a minor league option remaining, McGehee did have to consent to being optioned to Triple-A, but he did not have to pass through optional or outright waivers.

Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that GM Bobby Evans told Matt Chisholm of the Giants’ media relations team that McGehee was designated off the 25-man roster, but not the 40-man.

SUNDAY: The Giants have announced they have designated third baseman Casey McGehee for assignment. McGehee was acquired from the Marlins last December for a pair of minor leaguers to replace Pablo Sandoval. The Giants have named Matt Duffy (.299/.330/.402 in 105 plate appearances) their new starting third baseman.

The 2014 Comeback Player of the Year has struggled during his stay by the bay slashing .200/.254/.282 while grounding into more double plays (a league leading 12) than RBIs (nine) in 118 trips to the plate.

I feel I’ve got a lot left in the tank,” McGehee told reporters including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). “I’m pretty sure yesterday was not the last baseball game I’ve played.

The Giants now have ten days to either trade, release, or outright McGehee to the minors. Giants GM Bobby Evans told reporters, including Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, he hopes McGehee will accept an assignment to Triple-A because “he was comeback player for a reason.” McGehee says he will consult with his family on his next step and will not rush into a decision, reports Schulman, because “that’s not a decision I’m capable of making in 10 minutes.” There is also a financial component to McGehee’s decision. He and the Giants avoided arbitration in February by agreeing to a $4.8MM contract, approximately $3.5MM of which remains due. McGehee would forfeit that salary if he passes through waivers and declines an outright assignment.

McGehee’s DFA could also have implications for Travis Ishikawa, who is eligible to be reinstated tomorrow from his rehab assignment. Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com notes the Giants, in the middle of a stretch of 17 games in 16 days, have opted to go with a 13-man pitching staff with the recall of right-hander Hunter Strickland and there may not be room to add Ishikawa. Baggarly writes the Giants may be forced to designate the first baseman/outfielder, who was the hero of last year’s NLCS.


Players Avoiding Arbitration: Thursday

As of Thursday morning, there were just 14 players with unsettled arbitration cases (per MLBTR’s Arb Tracker). While some of the remaining cases figure to end in an arbitration hearing, there will still be a few more settlements to avoid that outcome. We’ll keep track of today’s minor settlements in this post, with all projections coming courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz

  • The Giants and third baseman Casey McGehee have settled on a $4.8MM salary for the 2015 season, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Acquired in an offseason trade with the Marlins, McGehee filed for a $5.4MM salary after a nice comeback season in Miami, while the Giants countered at $4MM. Both of those figures — and McGehee’s eventual salary — trumped his $3.5MM projection handily. Though the 32-year-old showed little power (four homers, .070 ISO), he totaled a roughly league-average slash line of .287/.355/.357, collecting 691 plate appearances and 76 RBIs. The durability and RBI total likely served him well in arbitration — a process that values each of those elements quite highly. McGehee, a client of Meister Sports Management, will be eligible for free agency next winter.

Arbitration Filing Numbers

Many players will avoid arbitration today, and dozens of others exchanged figures with their teams in anticipation of hearings. Most cases won’t go to arbitration hearings, but teams such as the Brewers, Rays, Marlins, Blue Jays, Braves, Reds, and White Sox (per the most recent updates) are known for their “file and trial” policies. For players on those teams this marks the last chance at negotiations before a hearing.

MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker will keep you up to date on every one of the filing numbers from around the game, but here are the highlights — players who filed for $5MM or more. Projections can be found here. Now for the details …

  • The Reds countered the $5.7MM filing of Todd Frazier with a $3.9MM figure, according to Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs (via Twitter).
  • Third baseman David Freese filed at $7.6MM and the Angels countered at $5.25MM, WAPT’s Mike Perchick tweets. Halos outfielder Matt Joyce has filed for $5.2MM against a $4.2MM counter, according to Perchick (on Twitter).
  • Astros center fielder Dexter Fowler filed for $10.8MM while the club countered at $8.5MM, Perchick tweeets.
  • Pirates second baseman Neil Walker filed at $9MM while the club landed at $8MM, Perchick tweets.
  • Just-acquired reliever Tyler Clippard has filed for $8.85MM against the Athletics, who countered at $7.775MM, Perchick tweets.
  • Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay filed at $5MM while the team countered at $4.1MM, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch tweets.
  • Pedro Alvarez has requested a $5.75MM salary for the coming season while the Pirates are at $5.25MM, per a tweet from Perchick.
  • Righty Mat Latos filed at $10.4MM and the Marlins countered with a $9.4MM figure, per Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
  • Third baseman Casey McGehee filed at $5.4MM, with the Giants countering at $4MM, Heyman tweets.
  • The Braves countered Mike Minor‘s $5.6MM filing number with a $5.1MM team figure, Heyman reports on Twitter.
  • Mark Trumbo has filed for $6.9MM against a $5.3MM counter from the Diamondbacks, Heyman tweets. Closer Addison Reed, meanwhile, filed at $5.6MM with the team countering at $4.7MM, per Heyman (via Twitter).
  • The Orioles went with a $7.5MM price point for righty Bud Norris, who filed at $10.25MM, per Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). In both relative and absolute terms, there is an even bigger gap between the O’s ($2MM) and breakout slugger Steve Pearce ($5.4MM), who is looking to cash in on a big season in his final year of eligibility. That news also comes via Connolly, on Twitter.
  • Entering his final year of arbitration, infielder Daniel Murphy has filed for $8.6MM while the Mets have submitted a $7.4MM figure, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com tweets.
  • Reds 9th inning man Aroldis Chapman filed for $8.7MM while the team countered at $6.65MM, per Heyman (via Twitter).
  • The Orioles and outfielder Alejandro De Aza will negotiate between filing figures of $5MM and $5.65MM, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets.
  • Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer filed at $6.7MM and the team countered at $4.6MM, Heyman tweets. The club will also have some ground to make up with closer Greg Holland, who filed at $9MM versus a team filing of $6.65MM, per another Heyman tweet.
  • Newly-acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson has filed at $5.75MM, while the Blue Jays countered at $4.3MM, Heyman tweets.

East Notes: Phillies, McGehee, Eovaldi, Mets, Yankees

The Phillies could get involved in the bidding for infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, but they would need to clear some payroll first, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets. The Phillies, of course, recently traded Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers, and they currently have Freddy Galvis atop their depth chart at shortstop, so there’s a clear opening for Cabrera if they feel he can handle the position defensively. Here’s more from the East divisions.

  • Telling Casey McGehee he had been traded to the Giants was a difficult task for Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill, Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel writes. “Extremely difficult decision because he did mean so much on the field and in the clubhouse, a true pro in every sense in the word,” says Hill. The Marlins were able to deal McGehee for two young pitchers because they acquired Martin Prado from the Yankees to play third base.
  • Speaking of the Martin Prado trade, Mike Axisa of River Ave Blues writes that the Yankees have acquired an interesting project in Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi has excellent velocity but hasn’t yet gotten great results, and Axisa (who cites Fangraphs’ Eno Sarris) wonders if Eovaldi might get better results by dropping his weak changeup and focusing on his fastball, slider and curveball. Axisa considers Garrett Jones more of a throw-in, but one who fits well with the Yankees given their veteran hitters’ struggles to stay healthy.
  • The Metstrade of reliever Gonzalez Germen to the Yankees on Friday was only the 16th transaction between the two clubs, the New York Daily News’ Anthony McCarron reports. It was also the only trade between the cross-town rivals in 10 years — in 2004, the Mets sent Mike Stanton to the Bronx for Felix Heredia.

Giants Acquire Casey McGehee

SATURDAY: The Giants have officially announced the deal.

FRIDAY: The Giants have found their replacement for Pablo Sandoval, at least for the time being. San Francisco has added third baseman Casey McGehee from the Marlins in a trade that sends young righties Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo to the Fish.

Miami was said to be quite high on McGehee after he turned in a nice rebound campaign with the team last year. But the organization jumped on the chance to add Martin Prado in a deal with the Yankees, and wasted no time in moving McGehee to another team with a need at third.

McGehee had a solid return season last year for Miami, after playing one year in Japan. He slashed .287/.355/.357 over 691 plate appearances, though a .335 BABIP certainly helped with his batting average and on-base numbers. Indeed, a drastic fall in his batting average on balls in play in last season’s second half contributed to a much less productive tail end of the season for the National League Comeback Player of the Year. He ultimately checked in at about one or two wins above replacement, depending upon one’s formula of choice.

Of course, San Francisco will not expect McGehee to fully replace the production of Sandoval, who will take the field for the Red Sox next year (and for several years thereafter). McGehee will presumably be expected to hold down the position for 2015 while the team looks for longer-term solutions. And he will do so at a fairly palatable price, as he is projected by MLBTR and Matt Swartz to earn $3.5MM through arbitration this year, his final season of eligibility before reaching free agency.

Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel first reported on Twitter that the deal was close. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweeted that the deal was done. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro (via Twitter) and Rodriguez (likewise) reported the return. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that the deal is “official.”


Latest On Giants’ Search For Third Baseman

The Giants continue to look for a replacement for longtime starting third baseman Pablo Sandoval. With Chase Headley now also off of the market, here’s the latest on some possible trade candidates:

  • San Francisco is in contact with the Marlins about Casey McGehee, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. Among the Giants players being discussed are reliever Hunter Strickland and infielder Matt Duffy, per Rosenthal.
  • The Giants are also still interested in Braves third bagger Chris Johnson, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports on Twitter. Johnson is owed $23.5MM over the next three years, and Atlanta may need to hold onto a portion of that commitment to move him.
  • Free agent Asdrubal Cabrera is among the finalists, with McGehee, to be brought on at third for the Giants, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. Club assistant GM Bobby Evans indicated previously that Cabrera was interested in finding a job up the middle, but said the door would remain open to further conversations.