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.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”
The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.
Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.