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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Casey McGehee Destroys Cubs Pitching After Failing to Reach Multi-Year Deal With Brewers

If there's one Brewer who seems to thrive with a chip on his shoulder, it's Casey McGehee (ok, he might not be the only one, but this post is about McGehee). While in the Cubs system he seemed doomed to AAA forever, his position blocked at the Major League level by Aramis Ramirez. Claimed off waivers by the Brewers in late 2008 he saw a window of opportunity that led to the big leagues. Determined to prove his doubters wrong (*Cubs*), he earned a spot with the Brewers in Spring Training '09, eventually became their starting third baseman, and proceeded to put together solid years at the plate in 2009 and 2010 (not to mention his first career grand slam in the same inning he dropped a routine pop fly). Yesterday, if only for the day, it seems the chip on McGehee's shoulder resurfaced.

The Brewers announced Wednesday that they failed to reach agreement with McGehee on a multi-year deal, signing him instead to a one year contract for his final pre-arbitration season. Making near the league minimum, so far he has been a bargain for the Brewers. If his production continues (and his knees hold up) he's bound for big raises in his arbitration years. A multi-year deal would provide cost certainty to the club. After what had to be disappointing news for McGehee, he went on to crush Cubs pitching in yesterday's 12-5 Brewers win, going 3-3 with 2 HR and 4 RBI. McGehee downplayed his day, saying, "You can't get too overly excited about an at-bat on March 3." He's right, of course, but it's still nice to see this Cubs castoff continue to crush his former club. Some have decried the idea of a multi-year deal for McGehee. I just hope that if it happens it's a deal that makes sense for the Brewers and not a Bill Hall-type regrettable contract.

Yovani Gallardo debuted yesterday and admitted he felt a bit rusty. That's what Spring Training is for, right? Even so, he apparently did not feel the need to try to fight one of his teammates after a shaky first inning, which cannot be said for Cubs starter Carlos Silva. It is just too classic for that to come from the guy for whom the Cubs traded Milton Bradley. Randy Wolf, the lone starter yet to appear for the Crew, starts today vs Oakland at 2:05. Manny Parra is also scheduled to pitch, his first appearance of 2011.

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