According to Jon Heyman, the Giants traded for Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee. The offseason of overwhelming rumors and underwhelming transactions continues. The Giants have settled for Arby's because they were scared the only other thing that was open was Carl's Jr., even though they're all basically the same thing.
Update: Apparently it's not official, but you know it's going to happen.
Don't hate this move yet. Hate this move when it's the last move of the offseason. A minor deal for a possibly-above-replacement third baseman would make sense in conjunction with another outfielder or, especially, one of the two frontline starters available. If the Giants sign Asdrubal Cabrera for three years, many millions, they might have to back out of those other deals sooner.
Be annoyed with this move now, though. It's safe. It's so very safe. Matt Duffy might hit like a pitcher with 500 at-bats, or Adam Duvall might make 46 errors over a full season, but McGehee will probably not hit poorly enough to get released. If he hits as well as he did last year -- his best year in the majors since Jose Guillen was on the Giants -- he will be quite okay for a team that can probably get by with quite okay at a couple of positions.
That's his ceiling, though: quite okay. His defense is average, at best, and in six major league seasons, his season-best WAR was 2.6.
No, wait, that's his career WAR. Over 711 games.
Ah, but I'm not a cut-and-dried WAR guy, so let's look for some positives. If you ignore the 2011 and 2012 seasons that got him bounced from the league -- blame an injury, whatever it takes -- he's shown a nice average and patience over the last two years. The first was in Japan, when he hit .292/.376/.515, a very impressive mark, considering the rest of the league hit .262/.331/.376 that year. The second was last season, in Miami, when he hit .287/.355/.357. That's something I'd be thrilled with from an average defender at third.
Except a) last year was the first of McGehee's season in which he was close to an average defender, and b) his value was severely limited last year because he led the league with 31 double plays. And there's that pesky part where he's an average-dependent player, in which a downtick in his batting average negates almost all of his potential value.
But it's not impossible that he could hit like last year. That's the sort of safety net that would get an actuary all tingly. And he was born in Soquel. I like Soquel.
The not-impossible ability to repeat his 2014 performance is one selling point. The other is his bargain salary (he's arbitration-eligible, projected to get close to a $3.5 million salary), which means the Giants still have money to spend.
The Giants still have money to spend.
I'm okay with a one-win player at third if it means the Giants can chase after additional replacements. They just have to, you know, do it. Now I'm all ticked off and want Max Scherzer, you dorks. Don't call it an offseason. This is an offseason move to set up the rest of the offseason, even if it's a forward-thinking move like Yoan Moncada. Tell us that much, at least.
Not all baseball nerds hate it.
McGehee ZiPS in SF - 258/322/357, 96 OPS+, 1.7 WAR. It's a suitable fill-in, not some kind of major disaster.— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) December 19, 2014
Fine. There's no word on what the Giants gave up, which is terrifying, but assuming it's not a top prospect going to the Marlins, here's a suitable fill-in for a team that used to have a homegrown All-Star at third. Figure out how to balance the ledger, please.
Also, never change, Giants.
/prewrites "Giants trade for Casey McGehee or some shit" article— Grant Brisbee (@mccoveychron) December 19, 2014
I really almost pre-wrote it, too. It was so stinking obvious the second the Marlins traded for Martin Prado. The last time I was this sure the Giants were going to sign someone was when they got Michael Morse, who ended up with the game-winning RBI in the World ...
Maybe I should shut up now. Welcome, Casey McGehee.