Pirates Trade Jose Veras for Casey McGehee

The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded relief pitcher Jose Veras to the Milwaukee Brewers for third baseman Casey McGehee, per a team press release. Veras was profiled as a non-tender candidate in my article earlier today. McGehee, meanwhile, became expendable when Milwaukee signed Aramis Ramirez to a three year deal earlier this afternoon.

McGehee is coming off a year where he hit for a .223/.280/.346 line in 546 at-bats. In 2010 he had a much better year, with a .285/.337/.464 line in 610 at-bats. He’s primarily played third base in his major league career, but has also spent some time at second and first.

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

McGehee makes for a strong backup to Pedro Alvarez, and could even be an option to start at first base if the Pirates can’t sign anyone. MLBTR projects McGehee to earn $3.1 M in arbitration. The move takes the 40-man payroll estimate up to $45.87 M.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Anonymous

    If the only other option for Veras was onn tender than this is a great move for the Bucs. If he even meets 2010 and 2011 somewhere in the middle he should def help this team. Watching ball 4 never hurts buddy.

  • Brian Bernard

    Not a huge fan of this move, but don’t hate it either. As I’ve said before I like Harrison at 3b… but he’s young and there’s time for him. I liked Veras and thought he was solid for the most part, nasty other times, and a few bad games. Overall a good pitcher… not going to enjoy facing him this year I bet bucco bats.

  • Anonymous

    I love this trade.  In a post earlier this offseason, I proposed looking at Ian Stewart as a non-tender trade candidate, but McGehee is well above Ian Stewart even during Stewart’s productive years.

    In 2011, McGehee had some family health issues with one of his children and I feel that had a huge effect on his season. 

    Great thing about McGehee is that he has no noticable splits versus LHP and RHP. 
    He’s also improved his defensive numbers at 3B each full year in the league, to the point that he was above average in 2011.

    I would hazard that the plan in December is to have McGehee learn 1B and give Alvarez the chance to rebound at 3B, but come May/June McGehee could go right back to the hot corner and Evans/Jones (if tendered) will be the 1B combo. 

    • http://twitter.com/pskell02 Patrick Kelly

      If what I heard is correct, McGehee also had a separated thumb at the beginning of last season as well. I’m sure that injury lingered most of if not the whole season.

  • Todd Smith

    McGehee seems like a pretty good bat (by Pirate standards) to just leave on the bench as an insurance plan.  Wouldn’t mind letting him take the 1st base job. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740167494 Mike Adamson

    Great Trade for the Bucs because this teams biggest need is a power bat. This guy could provide a middle of the lineup bat and if not we gave up a middle reliever who stressed me out every time he entered the game.

  • Evan Gross

    Big fan of this trade, McGehee had a down year and we got him for a middle tier set-up man, gj KC of spending wayyyyy to much on a pen with Axford/KRod/Veras. Worst case scenario we cut McGehee at some point for playin like Overbay or one of the other dead men walking we’ve brought through here in the past – i dont think its likely but its worth noting.

    The biggest thing i can say is we got him for next to nothing as there was no way we keep veras so baring some other names leaking of who we were considering in a trade, NH gets a congrats for a swinging a good trade.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vince-Riedy/100002800992567 Vince Riedy

    Good trade. Fills a need for someone who is very easy to replace.

  • James S

    Wow! I can’t believe they got McGehee for Veras!

    One down year and he was only worth Veras? come on. If McGehee bounces back they have a 3rd baseman who could reallly put pressure on Alvarez to step it up or move to another position or go back to the minors.

    This is awesome! There is no doubt in my mind that McGehee had to be hurt for his numbers to drop so far in one year.

    Before McGehee was moved to third by Milwaukee, he was a super-sub who could play just about any position on the field except catcher. So you have an incredibly versatile guy here were talking about.
    I am just in shock about this one….but for once, its a GOOD kind of shock!

  • Anonymous

    Another shrewd move by Neal in what we all expected to be an uneventful offseason.  Veras was unhittable at times but other times it was like he had Steve Blass disease. 

    You gotta think Mcgehee will rebound a bit from last season.

  • http://twitter.com/sdimmick3 Chicken McD

    very surprised by this….the bucs traded someone they would probably non-tender and got something in return.  McGahee has upside in power, i still say move Pedro to 1B and see what he can do over there.

  • Anonymous

    Even with McGehee having a down year in 2011, of players who played in more than 80 games for the Pirates last year, only Walker had a higher OPS than McGehee, Only McCutchen and Jones had more HR’s and only McCutchen and Walker had more RBI. I think it’s a win to add McGehee to our lineup.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=72405411 Ian Rothermund

    Success.  I liked Veras, but let’s face it, he’s a relief pitcher and he’s not a closer.  This is a very good trade if McGehee puts up the same numbers he did last year, and a great trade if he even comes close to putting up his 2010 numbers.  The Pirates have replaced a 70 inning relief pitcher with a starter that has the potential to hit for power in a position that we haven’t had power in for quite some time. 

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