McGee, 36, is a veteran in his 13th MLB season. The Giants signed him to a two-year deal prior to the 2021 campaign, which looked like a masterstroke at the halfway point of the contract. The Giants won 107 games last year, thanks in no small part to McGee. The southpaw threw 59 2/3 innings last year with a 2.72 ERA, 24.3% strikeout rate, 4.2% walk rate and 35.9% ground ball rate, racking up 31 saves and eight holds in the process.
However, things have swung completely the other way around here in 2022, with McGee struggling immensely. In 21 1/3 innings with San Fran, he registered a 7.17 ERA, along with greatly diminished 11.5% strikeout rate and 29.1% ground ball rate. Based on that unfortunate downturn, the Giants released him, with McGee then landing with the Brewers about a week later.
For Milwaukee, things haven’t gotten much better. McGee has a 6.35 ERA since getting his new jersey and is still only getting strikeouts at a 16% clip. That’s a small sample size, but it largely matches what McGee was doing prior to joining the Brew Crew.
The Brewers’ bullpen has been in the spotlight lately, after the club traded away Josh Hader despite leading the NL Central. Since then, the club has gone 1-4, with the bullpen giving away late leads in some of those games, and now sit one game back in both the Central and the Wild Card race. It seems they felt the need to shake things up, with McGee getting cut loose despite a brief audition.
Despite his poor season, he could still get a shot elsewhere, given his track record and the fact that many teams are deficient in terms of left-handed relief. He’s making $2.5MM this year but the Giants are on the hook for most of that, with any team that signs him only having to pay the prorated league minimum. Since the trade deadline is now passed, the Brewers will have to put him on outright waivers or release waivers in the coming days.