Pirates Acquire Brewers Casey McGehee, Trade Veras

Jose Veras set a career high with 79 appearances last season to go along with 74 k's and a 3.80 ERA.

The Pirates have traded relief pitcher Jose Veras to the Milwaukee Brewers for infielder Casey McGehee.  McGehee, 29 became expendable when the Brewers sign third baseman Aramis Ramirez to a three year deal.

Over the last three seasons, McGehee has started 353 games at third base, 20 games at second base in 2009.  McGehee is also capable of playing first base, but only has started once there.  In 2010, McGehee was voted as the Brewers MVP after a season in which he hit 23 home runs, drove in 103 rbi’s and hit .285.  That season, he also had  a WAR of 3.0.

Jose Veras, 31 was a dependable innings eater for the Pirates in 2011, but also had a knack for putting guys on base in pressure situations.  Veras set a career high in appearances with 79  in 2011.  He finished the season with 79 strikeouts, 34 walks and a 3.80 ERA in 71 innings pitched.

Veras has a filthy curveball that can make the most feared hitters in baseball look foolish, but that same pitch also gets him in trouble.  Despite his durability, it became normal for Veras to hang the curveball up in the zone for big hits in timely situations in 2011.

So is this a good trade?  Yes, but how good it is will by determined by how the Pirates intend to use McGehee.  Since he is versatile, there is an opportunity for McGehee to take over full time at first base with the absence of Derrek Lee.

Although McGehee has only started one game at first base in his entire career, it seems a good possibility he will be used exclusively at first base.  The following quotes are of Neal Huntington on the trade McGehee acquisition, and are from Rob Biertempfel’s twitter feed.

“McGehee gives us protection for Pedro and Garrett or can be starting option at first base or third base if one of them struggles.”

“Third base remains Pedro Alvarez’s job to keep, but Casey (McGehee) certainly gives us a viable regular option on either corner.”

Two seasons ago, McGehee hit 23 home runs and drove in 103 runs.

Judging by both of these quotes, it seems as if the Pirates are not looking to add another player to take over at the first base position.  If McGehee was brought in to be a backup infielder and Huntington planned on acquiring an every day first baseman, this would be a great trade.

Pedro Alvarez needs someone to push him into being a consistent major leaguer, and McGehee could be that player if used as Alvarez’s backup.

Both Garrett Jones and McGehee hit right handed pitching much better than left handed pitching, so a straight up platoon at first base would not make total sense.  Regardless of where he ends up playing, it was a good baseball move for the Pirates.

In return for a relief pitcher, the Pirates received an every day major league player that still has the potential to put up power numbers despite having a down year in 2011. In 2011, McGehee hit .223, with 13 home runs and batted in 67 runs.   If McGehee can return to his 2010 form, this trade will look like a steal, but it also depends on how the Pirates use him in 2012.

Related posts:

  1. 2011 Trade Deadline Page: Pirates Acquire Ryan Ludwick
  2. Pittsburgh Pirates - Milwaukee Brewers Series Preview
  3. Pirates Acquire Derrek Lee
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Deadline Rumors
  5. David Ross, Atlanta Braves Beat Pirates in 10th Inning, 2-1

About John Friend

Lets Go Bucs. John likes the Pirates way too much. Folllow him on twitter @Slew_John37. Thanks for reading! Find Slew Footers sports on Facebook as well.