Casey McGehee Rumors
The Marlins have been on the lookout for an answer to their hole at third base this offseason, and they filled that spot on the diamond today by officially announcing a one-year deal with Casey McGehee. McGehee, who spent last season playing in Japan, will reportedly earn a base salary of $1.1MM and has additional incentives in his deal contract. Back in October, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reported that McGehee was seeking a return to MLB.
The 31-year-old may not be the No. 1 target of big league clubs from the Rakuten Golden Eagles -- that honor goes to his now-former teammate Masahiro Tanaka -- but McGehee did hit .289/.371/.512 with 27 home runs in his first season there and got some attention from MLB scouts. McGehee is represented by Barry Meister, as shown in the MLBTR Agency Database. McGehee earned a guaranteed $1.5MM with the Golden Eagles last season, meaning he'll take a slight pay cut to return to the Major Leagues (although his incentives likely can carry him beyond that mark).
McGehee broke into the Majors in impression fashion with the Brewers, batting .291/.346/.477 with 39 homers in 273 games (1064 plate appearances). His production vanished over the next two years, though, as the former 10th-round pick batted just .221/.282/.351 over his next 952 plate appearances prior to his signing in Japan.
The latest from the AL East..
- The Yankees may have interest in Darwin Barney of the Cubs, tweets Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com. The two sides have discussed the second baseman in the past and talks have been renewed in the wake of Omar Infante's agreement with the Royals. Barney had a down year in 2013, posting a .208/.266/.303 line in 501 plate appearances.
- Meanwhile, the Marlins are looking for a third baseman and are intrigued by free agent Casey McGehee, who played in Japan this year and led his team to a championship, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Back in October, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reported that McGehee was seeking a return to MLB. The 31-year-old hit .289/.371/.512 with 27 home runs in his first season with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. Wilson Betemit, who lost 2013 to injuries, has also been discussed as an option. Miami wants a third baseman with versatility, and McGehee and Betemit both fit the bill.
- Despite a little talk about other teams interest in Brian Roberts, he hasn’t been mentioned very often by the Orioles in the last few weeks, writes Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com.
- Rays infielder Tim Beckham, the top pick in the 2008 draft, will miss a good chunk of the 2014 season after suffering an ACL tear, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. He would have been a long shot to make the Opening Day roster but he likely would have seen action if Tampa Bay needed depth or had an injury to a middle infielder.
Masahiro Tanaka has gotten most of the attention from those looking at the Rakuten Golden Eagles' roster this season (and deservedly so), but the team's third baseman warrants some consideration as well. Former Major League infielder Casey McGehee has enjoyed a monster season in his first taste of Nippon Pro Baseball and could look to return to the Majors in 2014, writes Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.
McGehee hit .289/.371/.512 with 27 home runs in his first season with the Eagles after signing a one-year deal this past offseason. His agent, Barry Meister, told Nicholson-Smith that McGehee will assess his options after the season and decide whether to continue in Japan or head back to the United States.
The 30-year-old corner infielder is expected to seek a starting job, which might be difficult to come by in the United States, though a non-contending team could certainly look to give him full-time at-bats. McGehee comes with some upside, as he posted an impressive .291/.346/.477 batting line with 39 homers in his first two big league seasons with the Brewers in 2009-10. His production fell off the table from 2011-12, however, as he slashed just .221/.282/.351 between the Brewers, Pirates and Yankees.
McGehee has yet to accumulate six years of MLB service time, which would make him arbitration eligible for any team that signed him as a free agent.
10:33am: McGehee obtained a $1.5MM guarantee, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The deal includes easily attainable incentives that can bring the value of the contract past $2MM.
7:27am: Free agent infielder Casey McGehee has agreed to play in Japan for the Rakuten Eagles, according to multiple Japanese reports (via Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker). Within this Sankei/MSN report Rakuten scouting director Hiroshi Abei acknowledges the sides have agreed to a deal, pending a physical. McGehee, a Meister Sports Management client, will earn $1.3MM on a one-year contract.
McGehee spent this past season with the Pirates and Yankees, appearing in 114 games. The 30-year-old posted a .217/.284/.358 batting line with nine home runs and 16 doubles in 352 plate appearances while playing first base, second base and third base. He earned $2.54MM in 2012 and elected free agency in October.
Yankees infielder Casey McGehee has elected free agency, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Meister Sports Management represents McGehee, who had been a non-tender candidate in New York.
McGehee, 30, spent this past season with the Pirates and Yankees. He hit nine home runs and posted a .217/.284/.358 batting line in 352 plate appearances. MLBTR had projected a $2.9MM salary for McGehee if the Yankees tendered him a contract. The corner infielder doesn't have a significant platoon split over the course of his five-year career.
For all the talk of the Yankees seeking a defense-first third baseman to fill in for Alex Rodriguez, they went with right-handed power in McGehee. Perhaps the Yanks liked McGehee's versatility, with Mark Teixeira ailing as well. McGehee, 29, is hitting .230/.297/.377 in 293 plate appearances for the Pirates. They acquired him from the Brewers for Jose Veras in December; McGehee has about $890K remaining on his contract. He's arbitration eligible for 2013, but may be non-tendered. He was made more expendable by the Pirates' acquisition of first baseman Gaby Sanchez from the Marlins earlier today.
Qualls, 33, has a 4.89 ERA, 4.9 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 1.63 HR/9, and 54% groundball rate for the Phillies and Yankees this year. The Yankees acquired Qualls from the Phils on July 1st after he'd been designated for assignment, and Qualls was a likely roster casualty had he remained with the Yanks.
The Yankees were on the verge of acquiring third baseman Casey McGehee from the Pirates for reliever Chad Qualls as the deadline approached, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post, who is working to confirm the deal.
The Pirates avoided arbitration with Casey McGehee, agreeing to terms on a 2012 contract, the team announced. He'll earn $2.5375MM in 2012, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter). All arbitration eligible players are now under contract for 2012, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows.
McGehee, a Meister Sports Management client, had asked for $2.725MM, while the Pirates had countered with a $2.35MM offer. His 2012 salary is the midpoint of the two submissions. The infielder was arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason and he'll remain under team control through the 2014 campaign. I examined his case in relation to teammate Garrett Jones last week.
Cardinals legend Red Schoendienst was born on this day in 1923. Schoendienst spent 15 seasons in St. Louis as a player and 14 more as a manager, winning a World Series in both positions (as well as another Series win as a member of the Milwaukee Braves in 1957). Schoendienst's career was capped off when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989.
Here's some news from both St. Louis and elsewhere in the NL Central...
- The Cubs' arbitration hearing with Matt Garza is scheduled to take place tomorrow, reports Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago. There is a sizable gap between the two sides; Garza is asking for a salary of $12.5MM, while the Cubs are offering $7.95MM. The result of this hearing could have an impact well beyond Chicago, as if the Cubs win the hearing, Garza's lower price tag could re-ignite trade interest in the right-hander.
- The Cubs unveiled plans today for a new baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez has the details.
- The Pirates' arbitration hearing with Casey McGehee is set for February 16, reports Bill Brink of the PIttsburgh Post-Gazette. Brink's source says the two sides are still negotiating to see if the hearing can be avoided. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith recently looked at the arb cases for both McGehee and the other side of the Bucs' first base platoon, Garrett Jones.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick looks at Zack Greinke's decision to act as his own agent and the history of other players who have handled their own contract negotiations. The Brewers right-hander is entering the last year of his four-year, $38MM contract but is open to the idea of signing an extension with Milwaukee.
- The Reds "had an offer on the table" for Francisco Cordero since the end of the 2011 season, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon but the team wouldn't give Cordero more than a one-year contract with an option. Cordero was holding out for a multiyear deal so the Reds signed Ryan Madson instead. Cordero settled for a one-year, $4.5MM deal with the Blue Jays and Shelton opines that Cordero "can’t be thrilled with how his offseason turned out."
- Beyond losing Albert Pujols, Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan, the Cardinals' quest to defend their World Series crown could be complicated by their reliance on several players with checkered injury histories, writes FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
Casey McGehee and Garrett Jones haven’t teamed up on the field yet, but they’re already linked through the arbitration process. McGehee and Jones, the Pirates’ two remaining unsigned arbitration eligible players, would have been comparables for one another this offseason even if Pittsburgh hadn’t traded for McGehee in December.
To this point, they have similar career arcs: a cameo appearances in the big leagues followed by a change of teams, a strong first full season, votes in the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year balloting and solid but unspectacular production from corner positions ever since. Parallels like that don’t have to exist for the players to be relevant to one other in arbitration, but the similarities extend to their statistical production.
McGehee has a .265/.320/.426 career line with 52 home runs and 242 RBI in 1689 plate appearances across 437 games. Jones has a .254/.323/.450 career line with 60 home runs and 193 RBI in 1573 plate appearances across 419 games. McGehee's platform year included 13 home runs, 67 RBI and a .223 average, while Jones' platform season featured 16 home runs, 58 RBI and a .243 average.
Not surprisingly, the first-time arbitration eligible teammates are positioned for similar 2012 salaries. McGehee and his representatives at Meister Sports Management asked for $2.725MM, while the Pirates offered $2.35MM (midpoint of $2.538MM). Meanwhile, Jones (pictured) and his representatives at SFX asked for $2.5MM, while the Pirates offered $2.25MM (midpoint of $2.375MM).
McGehee, who is one year younger than Jones, has 49 more RBI for his career, including one season with 100-plus driven in (like it or not, RBI matter). Jones, a super two player, had a stronger platform season, with more home runs and doubles than McGehee and a considerably better battling line.
The Pirates teammates are obvious comparables, but many other players are also relevant to the discussion. Should a hearing or two take place, recent first-time eligible position players such as Seth Smith ($2.415MM), Colby Rasmus ($2.7MM), Ian Stewart ($2.229MM) and David Murphy ($2.4MM) could figure in to discussions as well.
Photo courtesy Icon SMI.