Pirates land 3B Casey McGehee from Brewers

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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.

Jered Weaver dealing with “dead arm”

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Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.

Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.

Ian Kinsler doesn’t think Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic players play the game the right way

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Update: Whoops…

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Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:

I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.

The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.

Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.

Jim Leyland also got in on the action:

Go Puerto Rico.