In order to keep relief pitcher Hunter Strickland on the 25 man roster, the Giants have designated third baseman Casey McGehee for assignment, effectively releasing him.
Strickland was called up and added as a “26th man” for the double-header against the Rockies on Saturday. After the doubleheader, he was optioned back to the AAA club, then called back up today, after the Giants cleared a roster spot by designating McGehee. Teams are allowed a 24 hour exemption and allowed to add a 26th spot on the roster to help cover them for doubleheaders.
The term “designated for assignment” (DFA) is a contractual term used in Major League Baseball. A player who is designated for assignment is immediately removed from the team’s 40-man roster, after which the team must either:
- return the player to the 40-man roster within 10 days from the date of designation, or
- make one of the following contractual moves:
- Place the player on waivers (which can only be done within the first 7 days of the 10-day period)
- Trade the player
- Release the player
- Outright the player from the 40-man roster into the Minor Leagues
McGehee, a 32-year-old Santa Cruz native who grew up rooting for the G-men, had a slash line of .200 (BA)/.254(OBP)/.282 (SP) over 35 games with the team. McGehee was acquired in a trade with the Marlins in the off-season and inserted into the lineup as the Giants starting third baseman coming out of spring training.
Over the first six weeks of the season, McGehee struggled at the plate and in the field, and was leading the National League for most of the season in the ominous statistical category, GIDP (grounded into double play). As fan unrest grew, McGee hit a low point in “flipping off” someone in the Giants dugout, which was caught on camera. It was at this point that the fans (and possibly his teammates) really turned on him. McGehee has been losing significant playing time to Matt Duffy over the past month, and the steady and productive play of Duffy (.299, 19 RBIs) made this move easier for the team.
Even so, it was a surprise move by the Giants front office for many reasons, including the fact that they’re on the hook for the remainder of his $5M salary. Because of the unprecedented, early hook, this writer believes that factors other than his performance might have entered into the decision to option him:
- McGehee appeared to be out of shape from spring training on, and didn’t seem to recover fully from a leg injury he sustained early in the season
- McGehee was not loved by the majority of fans and didn’t seem to go out of his way to enamor himself to the remainder of the San Francisco fan base that was willing to support him
- This is unsubstantiated, but it’s possible that McGehee did not mesh well with his teammates and/or management
It remains to be seen if Matt Duffy will become the permanent starting third baseman, or if the Giants will be looking to acquire another player. Stay tuned for more updates right here from A San Francisco Fan in NY.
The Giants will look to start another long win streak this afternoon, when they take on the Rockies at Coors Field at 1:10 PT. And it’s official, Matt Duffy gets the start in this one at 3B.