After winning their 3rd WS title in 5 years, the San Francisco Giants were sure that they would be able to resign their star 3rd baseman, Pablo Sandoval, but they were wrong. “The Panda”, as they call him in San Fran, decided to sign with the Red Sox for 5 years. So that left the Giants with a gapping hole at 3rd base, where they used to have a superior player. For over a month during the offseason so far, the Giants front office has been bouncing ideas all over AT&T Park about how to replace the beloved Sandoval. There were a lot of rumors about the replacement coming from inside the system or from signing of a free agent, such as Asdrubal Cabrera or Jed Lowrie, but despite all the creative ideas the Giants GM, Brian Sabean, came up with, he wasn’t prepared for dealing with the departure of the Panda.
Brian Sabean is a great GM though, who has been a major contributor to all 3 WS teams, so the San Fran fan base new that he would eventually come up with a solution. That solution was found in Casey McGehee being acquired from the Marlins. McGehee is penciled in as the starting 3B for 2015, as he brings his rejuvenated game to AT&T Park.
McGehee might not be Pablo Sandoval, or the best possible replacement, but he is a solid dependable player. If the Giants brought back Pablo, they would be paying at least $95 million, but they did not bring him back and instead are going to be paying around $1.1 million, which means that the Giants now have room to sign a big time free agent if needed. Casey spent 2013 in Japan playing ball, then signed a $1.1 million contract with the Marlins in 2014, and is now arbitration eligible. Casey’s numbers state that he is worth more than $1.1 million/year, so this is a great deal for the Giants in terms of money. In 2014 McGehee batted .287 with 177 hits and 76 RBI’s, while having an OPS of .712 (league average was .695), in his first season back from Japan. The reason for his traveling overseas was because of the nosedive his career took from 2011-2012 after putting up a batting average of .291 with 39 homers and 170 RBI’s from 2009-2010. His bat may produce some good results, but his performance with the glove is below league average. With McGehee now the starting 3B for the Giants, the organization is predicting that Casey will put similar numbers to 2014, and also hoping that manager Bruce Bochy along with his coaches can help improve McGehee’s defensive ability.