Casey McGehee Rumors

NL Central Notes: Garza, McGehee, Greinke, Cordero

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.

Pirates Linked Through Arbitration

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. 

Garrett Jones - Pirates

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.


Brewers, Pirates Swap Veras For McGehee

The Brewers acquired right-handed reliever Jose Veras from the Pirates for infielder Casey McGehee, the teams announced. The Brewers agreed to terms with Aramis Ramirez today, which lessens their need for corner infielders. The Pirates, on the other hand, can use the depth at first and third.

Casey McGehee adds a quality option for us at both corner infield positions and adds depth to our position player group,” Pirates GM Neal Huntington said.

Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has struggled to hit lefties in his career (.620 OPS), while McGehee's production against southpaws has been solid (.743 career OPS). The Pirates, who don't have an established first baseman at this point, could also use McGehee at first. Meanwhile, Veras provides Milwaukee with depth in a bullpen that has become quite right-handed.

Both players are arbitration eligible this offseason. Veras projects to earn $2.5MM in 2011, while McGehee projects to earn $3.1MM. Veras, 31, posted a 3.80 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 71 innings for the Pirates in 2011. McGehee, 29, posted a .223/.280/.346 line with 13 home runs in 600 plate appearances.



King’s Latest: Yankees, Fielder, Rangers, McGehee

Here are some notes from George A. King III of The New York Post

  • “I am ready to rock and roll," said Yankees GM Brian Cashman while acknowledging that he still isn't optimistic about making a major pitching addition. "The Yankees are open for business."
  • An NL executive heard that the Rangers have interest in signing Prince Fielder and trading Mitch Moreland to the Rays for Wade Davis. A person with knowledge of Texas' plans say neither scenario is close to being done, however. The Rangers checked in with Scott Boras about Fielder during the winter meetings.
  • The Rangers also have interest in Casey McGehee of the Brewers to play first base, which would still allow them to make the Moreland-for-Davis swap. Matt Moore's new extension means the Rays won't have to send him down to the minors for service time reasons, giving them six starters (David Price, James Shields, Jeff Niemann, Jeremy Hellickson, Moore, and Davis) for five spots.

Brewers Notes: Reyes, Fielder, McGehee

The press caught up with Brewers GM Doug Melvin and owner Mark Attanasio this afternoon.  Here are some highlights..

  • When asked if he could spend big on one free agent and still fill other holes on the team, Melvin said, "Probably not at this time," tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
  • Melvin has not talked with Jose Reyes' agent since their first phone conversation and ceded that the talks don't have a great deal of momentum at this point, tweets Haudricourt.  
  • Both Melvin and owner Mark Attanasio made it clear they expect to contend in 2012, with or without the services of Prince Fielder, according to Haudricourt (via Twitter).
  • Attanasio called arbitration eligible third baseman Casey McGehee a bounce-back candidate, indicating that the Brewers will tender him a contract, tweets Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.
  • Melvin keeps saying that Yuniesky Betancourt is better than his critics say and that makes Haudricourt (via Twitter) think that Betancourt will return as the team's starting shortstop.

Melvin On Brewers’ Offseason

The Brewers’ season is over and while GM Doug Melvin wishes his club were in the World Series, he’s proud of its accomplishments. "There's just too many good things that happened this year for me to be hanging my head,” he said, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Here are more details from today’s press conference via Haudricourt:

  • Melvin and Brewers owner Mark Attanasio will meet in early November to discuss what kind of offer they can make free agent first baseman Prince Fielder.
  • The Brewers aren’t concerned about Shaun Marcum’s health, though the right-hander struggled in the postseason.
  • Melvin said Yuniesky Betancourt was “a better player than what his critics said.” The Brewers have a $6MM option ($2MM buyout) for the shortstop in 2012 and Melvin declined to say whether they'll pick it up.
  • Melvin explained that he would like to improve defensively without sacrificing on offense.
  • He said the Brewers will seriously consider giving Mat Gamel a chance to make an impact in the Major Leagues if an opportunity emerges (i.e. Fielder signs elsewhere).
  • The Brewers haven’t talked about moving Corey Hart to first base.
  • Melvin said he’ll check in with free agents LaTroy Hawkins and Takashi Saito. Francisco Rodriguez is likely to sign elsewhere, probably as a closer.
  • Melvin said Casey McGehee can still be a good player, despite his disappointing 2011 campaign.
  • Craig Counsell hasn’t told the Brewers whether he intends to play again next year, but it sounds as though Melvin would have some interest in re-signing him. Melvin also expects to speak to Jerry Hairston Jr. and his representative.
  • Mitch Stetter, Manny Parra and Josh Wilson are non-tender candidates, as MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explained this week.

Brewers Seek Boost On Left Side Of Infield

The Brewers aren't done trading yet. They're working to improve the left side of their infield, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Brewers want a definite upgrade over shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt or third baseman Casey McGehee, but they aren’t close to making a deal, since few quality infielders are available in trades.

Jamey Carroll isn’t available now and J.J. Hardy will likely sign an extension with the Orioles, according to Rosenthal. The Brewers would like to obtain a player with a good glove and they can consider adding payroll on a case-by-case basis.

Brewers shortstops (Betancourt, Craig Counsell and Josh Wilson) have combined to rank 28th in MLB with a .267 OBP. Brewers third basemen (mostly McGehee and Counsell) rank 28th in MLB with a .206 average, a .264 OBP and a .277 slugging percentage. Betancourt has a .237/.255/.342 line while McGehee checks in at .223/.279/.315.


Quick Hits: Harper, Knapp, Wilson, Brewers

The Nationals are promoting Bryce Harper to Double-A in time for tonight’s game. The 18-year-old, who was the first overall selection in last year's draft, had a .318/.423/.554 line with 14 homers and 19 steals at Class A. Here are some fourth of July links in anticipation of Harper’s Double-A debut…

  • Trade talk is picking up, but some teams believe there’s a lack of difference makers available on the trade market, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. The few trade candidates who could make a difference in the pennant race are going to be difficult to obtain, Olney writes.
  • Former Tigers pitching coach Rick Knapp tells John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press that three general managers called him to discuss possible jobs. The Tigers fired Knapp yesterday.
  • Jamey Newberg hopes C.J. Wilson feels like a winner in Texas so that he re-signs with the Rangers this offseason, when he becomes a free agent.
  • Casey McGehee already has two hits today, but he has just a .226/.276/.313 line this season. Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he doesn't plan to demote the third baseman to the minors (Twitter link).

No Extension This Time For Brewers, McGehee

The Brewers announced that they signed Casey McGehee to a one-year contract instead of completing the extension they had preliminary discussions about. There's no rush for a deal, as the third baseman isn't arbitration eligible until after the coming season and isn't scheduled to hit free agency until after the 2014 campaign.

McGehee hit 23 homers last year, posting a .285/.337/.464 line in 670 plate appearances in his first full season. The longtime Cubs farmhand caught on with the Brewers in 2009 and hit 16 homers with an .859 OPS in 394 plate appearances as a rookie.

The Brewers, who have already extended infielder Rickie Weeks this offseason, have now signed all 40 players on their 40-man roster.


Brewers Discussing Extension With Casey McGehee

The Brewers are in discussions with Casey McGehee about a multiyear extension for the third baseman, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  GM Doug Melvin says he should know within "the next few days" whether an extension is feasible, though he notes that the two sides have only talked "briefly" about a long-term contract.

McGehee, 28, hit .285/.337/.464 in 670 plate appearances for Milwaukee last season, his first as an everyday player.  He is under team control through 2014 and will be arbitration-eligible for the first time next winter.  If Melvin does get McGehee locked up, it would be the second multiyear deal given to a Brewer infielder this offseason, on the heels of Rickie Weeks' four-year, $38.5MM extension.