Monday, December 12, 2011

Pirates Trade Jose Veras, Get Casey McGehee

In a bit of a surprising turn of events the Pirates made a trade just hours before they had to announce which players they were going tender when they shipped Jose Veras to the Milwaukee Brewers for third baseman Casey McGehee.

To be honest this is pretty much a swap of potential non tender guys as the Pirates were thought to not want to tender Veras and with the Brewers signing Aramis Ramirez they were most likely not going to tender McGehee.

I was a pretty big fan of Veras last year and despite what the regular Pirates fan would tell you he was one of the best arms in the league. It was often joked that you never knew who you were going to get “good Veras” or “bad Veras”. Most of the time it was good Veras to the tune of a 1.23 WHIP and 79 appearances. Most will point to the 30 earned runs he gave up but he was much better than that. With the Brewers losing a few guys in the pen it was a smart move for them to bring him in.

On the other side of this the Pirates got the contingency plan for Pedro Alvarez and a possible option for first base. While McGehee plays primarily third base there were a few teams looking at him playing first base even though he has only played a handful of games there in his major league career.

McGehee was a very good in the 2009 and 2010 season but really had a terrible season last year. In 2009 he hit for a .301/.360/.499 line in 116 games and 394 at bats and then continued strong play with a .285/.337/.464 line in 157 games and 670 at bats in 2010. He had a .367 wOBA in 2009 and .346 in 2010. In 2011 it was a little different as he dipped to a .223/.280/.346 line in 600 at bats and was barely a replacement level players. The bright spot about this was that last season McGehee’s BABIP was .249 which was well below his career average of .293 so if that comes up a little bit his play will improve.

I think overall this is a pretty solid swap of players for the Pirates. He doesn’t strike out a ton (16.6% career) and he isn’t old by any means as he still has three years of team control left when he is eligible for arbitration after the 2012 season. I am not a huge McGehee fan but being that they weren’t going to tender Veras you might as well get a guy that has had success in the majors and still have three years of team control. Another option this might give the Pirates is to move Pedro to first base and give the third base job to McGehee but I don’t really see that happening at this point.

Here are McGehee’s career numbers:

4 Seasons4371689153517540783452242129281.265.320.426.7469965451
162 Game Avg.16262656965151311199048104.265.320.426.7469924219
MIL (3 yrs)4281664151117440382452237129273.267.322.430.75210164950
CHC (1 yr)9252414100508.
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 12/12/2011.

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