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By Chad Carlson
The Pirates’ busy offseason continued on Monday, with two more moves that show a ton of promise for the upcoming 2012 season.
With a number of players nearing the arbitration deadline, the Bucs had some decisions to make, and they made a couple choices on Monday in regards to their bullpen, favoring Jason Grilli over Jose Veras.
Grilli was rewarded for his strong 2011 season with a one-year deal worth just over $1 million, while Veras was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for third baseman Casey McGehee.
I like both of these moves.  Grilli had a solid year out of the bullpen for the Bucs, and Veras was horribly inconsistent.  With the players the team had on arbitration restrictions, decisions had to be made on who was worth keeping and who wasn’t, and I think they made the correct choice here.  Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek, and Chris Resop, other pitchers in the bullpen, are still arbitration eligible.
By trading Veras, though, the Bucs also get McGehee…yes, the same player who hit .285 with 23 homeruns and 104 RBI’s in 2010, but had quite a setback this past season in 2011, hitting just .223 with 13 homeruns and 67 RBI’s.  WhenMilwaukeemade the deal for Aramis Ramirez, it became evident that McGehee was expendable to the Brew Crew.
The Bucs are rumored to have stated that they are not grooming Pedro Alvarez to make the transition over to first base.  So with Pedro occupying third base, or at least with the inside track to do so, that leaves McGehee as a backup…unless…
He is capable of playing first base, and also an outfield spot as well.  Granted, his most comfortable position is the hot corner, but with the Pirates’ current situation, if he’s producing at the plate, something the team needs drastically, they’ll need to find a spot for him on the field.
Maybe Pedro at third, McGehee at first?  Tabata, Walker, McCutchen, Pedro, McGehee?  Not bad.
This is obviously a gamble, considering McGehee’s 2011 season.  But still, this shows that the Bucs are willing to go after a notable bat to improve the offense.  This is an inspiring move, hopefully one that will turn out for the better for the Pirates and their fans.
We’ll continue to bring you our reactions and ask you for your thoughts surrounding the latest Pirates’ news and rumors.  Stay tuned.
And…
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!