Yesterday, the Yankees made a minor trade to help their third base situation. They acquired Casey McGehee from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for everyone’s least favorite reliever, Chad Qualls. This is the second time in the calender year that McGeehe has been traded; back in December, the Brewers shipped him to the Pirates in exchange for reliever Jose Veras.
McGehee, a right handed hitter, has a career .260/.316/.419/.735 line, good for a 97 OPS+. That all translates to a .317 wOBA and a 96 wRC+. From 2009-2010, he managed a 117 OPS+ with 39 HR in 136 games (1064 PA); however, he’s hit just .226/.286/.356/.642–75 OPS+–since the beginning of 2011. But, as a righty hitter, it’s unlikely that McGehee will see much action against righty pitchers. This year, he’s got a .348 wOBA/119 wRC+ against lefty pitchers (.326/100 for his career).
McGehee’s acquisition means the end of another Rakin’ Ramiro Pena era in Yankee baseball. Now we’ll see McGehee get the lion’s share of the playing time at third, with Jayson Nix shifting to the utility role. When Mark Teixeira returns and Nick Swisher is healthy enough to move back to right field, McGehee’s inclusion in the lineup will allow Joe Girardi to more aggressively rest Derek Jeter, by giving him DH days as Nix can slide to SS to get another solid righty platoon bat (112 wRC+ vs. LHP) into the lineup. Tomorrow, when the Yankees face Baltimore lefty Zach Britton, I assume that McGehee will get a day at first base, while Nick Swisher gets another DH day. The lineup will probably look like this:
1. Jeter SS
2. Granderson CF
3. Cano 2B
4. Swisher DH
5. Jones LF
6. McGehee 1B
7. Nix 3B
8. Ichiro RF
9. Martin C
On regular days against lefties, it’ll look like this:
1. Jeter SS
2. Granderson CF
3. Teixeira 1B
4. Cano 2B
5. Swisher RF
6. Jones DH
7. McGehee 3B
8. Ichiro LF
9. Martin C
McGehee has a career .168 Iso against lefties and it’s .219 in his career. With Mark Teixeira out for a few days and Alex Rodriguez out for a while, the Yankees are missing right handed power. McGeehe provides that in their absence and should be fine as a part time player. Getting that for Chad Qualls is definitely a good move.
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