Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Mlb_may_20_76eb

Well that didn’t take long. Mere hours after signing Aramis Ramirez to man the keystone for the next three seasons, the Milwaukee Brewers traded former third baseman Casey McGehee to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jose Veras. While McGehee exceeded expectations with the Brewers initially — he slumped badly last season — and was eventually replaced by Jerry Hairston Jr. Will a change of scenery resurrect the bat of “Mighty Casey?”

McGehee definitely made the most of his time in Milwaukee. After being claimed off waivers from the Chicago Cubs, McGehee made the most of his part-time opportunity in 2009 — hitting .301/.360/.499 in just 394 plate appearances. His strong performance solidified his position as a starter in 2010. That season, McGehee was voted Brewers’ MVP after hitting .285/.337/.464 with 23 home runs and 104 RBI. Things looked pretty promising for the once discarded McGehee.

Just as things were looking up, McGehee suffered a collapse last season. While his walk and strikeout rates remained about the same, McGehee saw his slash line drop to a horrid .223/.280/.346 last season. While some of his struggles can be related to a .249 BABIP, McGehee also displayed some signs of decline. After hitting fastballs pretty well throughout his career, McGehee saw a drastic decline against the pitch last season. In fact, McGehee had a negative pitch value against nearly every type of pitch last season (not counting splitters or knuckleballs, which he didn’t see enough to make a solid conclusion). While McGehee actually had a 6.6 UZR last season, McGehee isn’t known for his defensive prowess at third. It’s more than likely this is just a one year UZR anomaly.

What did the Pirates see in this guy?

Mcgehee can be viewed as insurance for Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez was viewed as a potential star for the Pirates until an epic collapse last season. With the acquisition of McGehee, the Pirates might give Alvarez more time in the minors before rushing him to the majors once again.

If the Pirates feel Alvarez is ready for the majors now — they can find playing time for both players by moving one to first base. Neither has a particularly strong reputation as a fielder, and a move to first could be one less thing for either player to worry about next season.

There’s also a decent chance the McGehee’s luck turns in 2012, and he becomes a valuable hitter again. Last season, National League third basemen hit .254/.311/.381. McGehee is definitely capable of exceeding those numbers if he can return to form.

For the Brewers, this marks the official start of the Mat Gamel era. For the 26-year-old Gamel, it’s time to prove he can hack it in the big leagues. While he’s mashed minor league pitching, his .222/.309/.374 line in the majors leaves a lot to be desired. Strikeouts have always been an issue for Gamel, and unless he can get them under control, he’ll never post strong averages.

In return for McGehee, the Brewers receive reliever Jose Veras. While Veras has been on four different teams the last four seasons, he has some upside. Veras strikes out nearly a batter an inning, but his career 4.80 walk rate is troubling. Even with a high walk rate, Veras was able to post a 3.50 FIP last season. He’ll be a solid addition to the Brewers’ pen provided the walk issues don’t get worse.

The move isn’t a blockbuster by any means, but it does have some decent implications. For the Brewers, the move solidifies the departure of Prince Fielder and gives Gamel a shot to prove he belongs in the majors. The Brewers also get a useful set-up man out of the deal as well. For the Pirates, McGehee is a low-risk option that could provide average production at a corner infield spot. The move also allows the Pirates to be patient with Pedro Alvarez, who proved to be overmatched in 2011. It’s not a major deal, but it should help both teams in the short term.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Vick: Jameis Winston is the future of the NFL

Report: No NFL team is moving to Los Angeles in 2015

Report: 49ers looking for young, offensive mind as next coach

Sheldon Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

Kendrick Perkins: Rajon Rondo wanted out of Boston

Report: Jim Harbaugh being encouraged to take Michigan job

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

Rex Ryan: My wife could coach Tom Brady

Grizzlies players buy new car for team intern

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

Brian Kelly: Justin Brent gets 'distracted,' is in my doghouse

Five free agent signings that should happen in 2015

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.