The San Francisco Giants have traded for a third baseman. And, it’s neither of the two guys we heard they had interest in a couple days ago.
Martin Prado ended up getting dealt to the Marlins today, and the Giants “benefitted” when that led to them acquiring Casey McGehee, a 32-year-old third baseman who represents a stopgap replacement for Pablo Sandoval. The Giants sent Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo to Miami (per @JCRMarlinsbeat). Flores was listed as the 15th-best player under 25 in the Giants’ system by Andrew Baggarly one year ago.
Pros: McGehee is relatively cheap (projected to get $3.5M in arbitration). McGehee is durable (157 games in 2010, 155 in 2011 and 160 in 2014). McGehee hit .287 with 177 hits in 2014. McGehee was born in Santa Cruz (if such things matter to you). McGehee has a nickname: “Hits McGehee” (if you’re a fan of Anchorman). McGehee hits right-handed, and the Giants are stocked with lefties in their everyday lineup.
Cons: McGehee hit four home runs in 691 plate appearances. McGehee grounded into a MLB-leading 31 double plays in 2014. McGehee hit .218/.316/.281 against left-handed pitchers in 2014 (.248/.322/.393 for his career). In the first half, when his batting average on balls in play was .369, McGehee hit .318/.386/.391. In the second half, when his luck ran out (.284 BAbip), he hit .243/.310/.310.
The offseason isn’t over yet. However, the Giants seem to be a lot more budget-conscious than some were leading us to believe when they finished as an also-ran in the Sandoval Sweepstakes and spent a week getting everyone’s hopes up about Jon Lester.
2014 Giants who signed elsewhere: Sandoval, Michael Morse (Ryan Vogelsong probably won’t be back, either)
New Giants: McGehee, Justin Maxwell, Curtis Partch, Cory Gearrin
On the other hand, I opened up an umbrella this morning for the first time since Halloween. A few little slips of paper fell to the ground. Some were black, some were orange. World Series Parade confetti. Alright, Giants. Here’s some benefit of the doubt that should last you through the holiday season.
Also, the Opening Day payroll currently looks to be somewhere in the $165 million range after this week’s additions, which is about $15 million more than last year’s (in other words, a 10% increase). Maybe an offseason like this is what we should’ve expected all along. A more expensive team that isn’t any better than the 2014 squad, unless you count Angel Pagan and Matt Cain starting the season healthy.