Casey McGehee Trade: Pittsburgh Perspective

The New York Yankees acquired right-handed hitting Casey McGehee from the Pittsburgh Pirates at the MLB Trade Deadline, surrendering unwanted reliever Chad Qualls. SB Nation Pittsburgh editor Charlie Wilmoth was kind enough to offer his thoughts on the Yankees' acquisition of McGehee.

Here is what Wilmoth wrote via e-mail:

I'm not sure I totally understand the pair of moves that led McGehee to the Yankees, but here goes.

McGehee can hit lefties. He probably shouldn't be out there against righties. He was a bit of a disappointment with the Pirates this year, but that was mainly because the Pirates' shortage of talent in the outfield (McGehee doesn't play outfield, but Garrett Jones, who shared first base with McGehee, does), along with some strange decisions on Clint Hurdle's part, frequently forced McGehee into duties against righties. If you accept that he's merely a bench player who can play reasonable defense at first or third and hit lefties, he'll probably do well for you.

For some reason, the Pirates decided to acquire Gaby Sanchez, who's also a first baseman and lefty-killer, and between Sanchez at first and Pedro Alvarez at third, it would have been hard to find playing time for McGehee. With the acquisitions of Sanchez and Travis Snider, the Pirates suddenly went from needing to play McGehee most days to having no particular use for him. He seems like a good enough guy, so the best rationale for the Chad Qualls trade I've heard is that the Pirates probably felt McGehee no longer had much of a role with them and decided to send him someplace where he'd have a clearer shot at some playing time.

The Yankees obviously didn't give up much of anything, so I think that probably the best way to look at this, from the Yankees' perspective, is that you're getting a player who's fine as what he does, and you're getting him for virtually nothing. With the Yankees, unlike with the Pirates, he probably won't be asked to do too much, so I think he can be an effective role player down the stretch.

This deal sounds like a nice get for GM Brian Cashman and the Yankees. McGehee has played 375 of his 529 career games at third base, with 75 at first base. He reportedly hits left-handers better than right-handers, though his career numbers -- .260/.313/.416/.729 vs. righties and .259/.327/.427/.754 vs lefties do not show a big disparity.

With Alex Rodriguez down with a broken hand and the Yankees using a combination of the frail Eric Chavez and the light-hitting Jayson Nix at third base, though, this could be a most useful pickup for New York.

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