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.
Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.
Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.
The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.
Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.
Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.
According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.