Casey McGehee’s rapid decline has led to the 30-year-old heading to Japan.
Sankei in Japan reports that McGehee has agreed to a one-year, $1.3 million deal with the Rakuten Golden Eagles, which is the same team that signed Andruw Jones earlier this week.
As recently as 2010 he hit .285 with 23 homers and 104 RBIs for the Brewers, but McGehee has hit just .221 with a .632 OPS in 269 games since then, bouncing from the Brewers to the Pirates to the Yankees in the process.
Given the relatively modest payday in Japan it seems obvious that he couldn’t find a guaranteed major-league job for 2013, so he chose Rakuten over competing for a bench gig on a minor-league deal.
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.