It wasn’t front-page news like many of the upcoming moves that Doug Melvin will make this off-season, but the Brewers announced an interesting addition--and subtraction--Wednesday.
Milwaukee claimed Casey McGehee on waivers from the Cubs, designating utility player Joe Dillon for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for the 26-year-old former 10th-round 2003 draft pick out of Fresno State.
McGehee adds to an interesting mix at third base, where one assumes Bill Hall is the scheduled starter—if he isn’t traded. Super infield sub Craig Counsell, if the team picks up his option, and free agent Russell Branyan are other possibilities, although this transaction could mean the end to Branyan’s second stint with the Brewers.
McGehee, like Dillon, provides potential flexibility in that he could be moved or fill in elsewhere if necessary because he played left field as a freshman with the Bulldogs and reported to spring training in 2007 as a catcher.
Still, the likelihood is that the right-handed hitting McGehee will stay at the hot corner after making his big-league debut with Chicago in September, where he batted .167 in going 4 for 24, including 0 for 6 in two games against the Brewers.
The California native spent 2005 at Double-A West Tennessee, making the Southern League All-Star team after hitting .297 in 124 games. He batted .280 in 135 games at Triple-A Iowa in 2006 and started there in ’07, where he hit only .173 in 18 contests. He then played in 105 games at Double-A, finishing with 26 doubles, nine homers, 54 RBI and .273 average. He batted .296 in 2008 with 12 long balls, 30 doubles and 92 RBI in 133 games at Iowa.
Meanwhile, Dillon’s future is in doubt after he played in 56 games for Milwaukee while making several trips back and forth from Nashville. He batted .213 with one homer and six RBI with the Brewers and .263 with five HRs and 23 RBI in the minors.
It’ll be interesting to see where McGehee fits in, but that picture won’t be completed until the roster shakes down before the team reports to Arizona in late February.