Brewers Claim Casey McGehee off Waivers
The Milwaukee Brewers claimed 3B-1B-C Casey McGehee off Outright Waivers, and RHP Billy Petrick was sent outright to the minors, as the Cubs trimmed their Reserve List (AKA "40-man roster") to 37 yesterday.
The Cubs selected McGehee out of Fresno State in the 10th round of the 2003 Rule 4 draft, and while he has played mainly 3B in his pro career, he also can play 1B and catcher. As a catcher, he has a strong, accurate arm, but his receiving skills need work.
McGehee was rewarded with an NRI to Spring Training with the big club last February, and was added to the Cubs 40-man roster and was brought up to Chicago from AAA Iowa last month (getting the nod over Jason Dubois) when Manager Lou Piniella was looking for another right-handed bat for the stretch drive. Before being summoned to Chicago, McGehee had a fine '08 season at Iowa, where he hit 296/345/429, with 30 doubles, 12 HR, and 93 RBI.
The 26-year old McGehee is presently playing winter ball for Culiacan in the Mexican Pacific League (he's spent his last three winters there). where he is hitting .326.
McGehee has three minor league options available and is three years away from salary arbitration, so he would naturally be attractive to a small market club looking for a cheap, versatile player for the nominal cost of a $20,000 waiver claim.
It's not exactly clear why the Cubs felt the need to place McGehee (or Petrick) on Outright Waivers at this time, because the Cubs already had one opening on their 40-man roster (LHP Carmen Pignatiello was outrighted to the minors earlier ths month), and six additional slots on the 40 will open up once the eight players eligible to be free-agents under Article XX of the CBA file for FA during the Free-Agency Filing Period that commences today (two of the players eligible to be MLB Article XX free-agents are still on the 60-day DL, so they will not create openings on the 40 when they file, but the other six will).
Because McGehee was brought up to the big leagues after August 15th, the Cubs had until four days after the conclusion of the World Series to make the outright assignment, or else they would have had to wait until 25 days prior to the start of the 2009 regular season to do it. But the Cubs really didn't have to outright McGehee in order to remove him from the 40 and keep him in the organization for 2009.
They could have waited until December 12th to drop McGehee from the 40-man roster, simply by non-tendering him and then re-signing him to a 2009 minor league contract (with an NRI to Spring Training) for the MLB split contract minor league minimum ($65,000), the same salary he would have received if he was on optional assignment to the minors. Of course McGehee could have refused the offer, but it was probably the best way to try and keep him in the organization for 2009 if they felt they needed his slot on the 40 for somebody else.
The two players who were succesfully outrighted off the Cubs 40-man roster this month (Pignatiello and Petrick) are both eligible to be six-year minor league free-agents, so it really wouldn't have mattered much if either of them had been lost off the waiver wire.
jdrnym 5 hours 1 min ago (view)
All makes sense, but I think there is one important point of clarification in there -- are you using "practice squad" and "Club Player Pool" interchangeably? If so, I understood the first sentence of your third-to-last paragraph above to mean that Mills/Sadler/Underwood could be outrighted and still be in the Pool, therefore retaining their eligibility to re-selected to the major league active roster later in the season.
Arizona Phil 7 hours 28 min ago (view)
jdrnym: Zack Short is still on Optional Assignment to the minors (as are Alzolay, M. Amaya, R. Garcia, Maples, T. Miller, Norwood, Rea, M. Rodriguez, and Steele), but he can be recalled at any time without restriction (no "ten-day rule") because he was optioned to the minors prior to the transaction freeze in March.
crunch 11 hours 50 min ago (view)
the toles update is worse than his troubled past. toles has been diagnosed bipolar + schizophrenia and has been in/out of institutions over the past couple years. he can't seem to stick to any program long enough to get good treatment.
hope he turns whatever corner he needs to in order to get enough treatment to decide what kind of future he'd like to have.
Dolorous Jon Lester 14 hours 41 min ago (view)
Those two are definitely on more precarious ground once the roster is trimmed to 26, I would say.
jdrnym 14 hours 43 min ago (view)
Right, just went through the roster quick. Underwood, Sadler, same deal.
Dolorous Jon Lester 17 hours 3 sec ago (view)
Can't answer the Short thing. But I'd agree with your assessment of Mills if he weren't basically a lock to make the roster.
jdrnym 17 hours 7 min ago (view)
Is Zack Short's official designation still "on optional assignment" even though he's not on the Pool? If so, he can't just be recalled even though he's on the 40-man roster, right?
And someone like Alec Mills who's on the Pool and out of options... he's virtually locked onto the active roster because he can't get taken off (via an outright) and remain eligible to be re-added. Seems like the kind of player you'd prefer to leave off the initial Pool.
crunch 17 hours 31 min ago (view)
though he went to the hospital for treatment he was never admitted, so he's yet another person who got dragged hard by Covid, but who's case isn't showing up in the hospital admission, ICU bed, or death numbers most of us are looking at.
there's a whole slew of people who have had to shut down their lives for 2-4-6-etc weeks to get over this that are falling outside of the numbers we're tracking most closely.
Cubster 18 hours 57 sec ago (view)
"In yet another reminder of how insidious this particular disease can be, Hottovy says he had acted quite cautiously in public before coming down with it. Fortunately, he was able to self-isolate and avoid transmitting it to his family."
crunch 19 hours 12 min ago (view)
it'll be interesting to see how things go down when people have to start playing games in AZ. they're damn close to being "early NYC level" screwed with a lack of planning and action.
with the early plan of playing games in AZ/FL, they could have been huge economic winners with 15+ teams playing all their games in AZ (and spring training 2.0). now it's looking like some teams may not even want to fly into AZ for a few dozen "away" games.
crunch 19 hours 27 min ago (view)
cubs pitching coach tommy hottovy was diagnosed with covid-19 earlier this spring, but he is currently assumed fully recovered.
he had a 100+ degree temperature for 6 days, lost 18 pounds, and it took 30 days for him to test negative.
he's 38 years old, btw.
Hagsag 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
crunch 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
at least the cubs got elston back for pretty much nothing. also, ha.
Rob Richardson 2 days 15 sec ago (view)
How many coachs, managers, and other "tier 1" individuals around the league are in higher risk groups?
Rob Richardson 2 days 7 min ago (view)
Well said Crunch.