Pirates land 3B Casey McGehee from Brewers


The Pirates picked up another option at third base on Monday, acquiring Casey McGehee from the Brewers for right-hander Jose Veras.

Both players were considered candidates to be non-tendered this evening.

McGehee, 29, followed up two surprisingly strong seasons for the Brewers by hitting .223/.280/.346 with 13 homers and 67 RBI in 546 at-bats last year. That caused the Brewers to make third base a priority this winter and that need was addressed by the Aramis Ramirez signing on Monday.

Veras, who served as a setup man in front of Joel Hanrahan in Pittsburgh, will help fill the bullpen holes left by the exits of LaTroy Hawkins and Takashi Saito in Milwaukee. The 31-year-old has always battled control issues, but he’s finished with ERAs of 3.75 and 3.80 the last two years. In his career, he’s struck out 249 and walked 132 over 247 1/3 innings.

McGehee can likely be penciled in as Pittsburgh’s third baseman for now, though the team also has a vacancy at first. If that’s not filled by Derrek Lee or another free agent, then the Pirates could open the season with former first-round pick Pedro Alvarez at third and McGehee at first. However, Alvarez seems in need of some additional minor league time and may end up at first base himself.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.