UNDATED (WSAU) The Milwaukee Brewers traded third baseman Casey McGehee to Pittsburgh yesterday for reliever Jose Veras. McGehee became expendable after the Brewers agreed earlier in the day to sign Chicago Cubs' free agent Aramis Ramirez. McGehee spent three years in Milwaukee, and was the Brewers' M-V-P in 2010 after hitting .285 with 104 R-B-I's. But McGehee faltered this season, batting .223 with a league-leading 20 errors at third. And he lost his starting job in the playoffs to Jerry Hairston Junior.
General manager Doug Melvin said McGehee was surprised and disappointed by the trade. But the Brewers needed a big bat amid the potential of losing Prince Fielder, plus the chance that Ryan Braun will serve a 50-game suspension next year after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
The 33-year-old Ramirez had 26 homers and 93 R-B-I's for the Cubs last season. He reportedly agreed to a three-year deal worth 36-million dollars. The Brewers did not announce the Ramirez signing, because he must still pass a physical.
Meanwhile, the Brewers picked up another right-handed arm in the bullpen with the trade for Veras. He went 2-and-4 for the Pirates last year with one save and a three-point-eight-oh E-R-A. He was mainly a set-up role for closer Joel Hanrahan. Veras could replace LaTroy Hawkins as the Brewers' seventh-inning reliever. Hawkins left as for the Angels of Anaheim as a free agent.
Also yesterday, the Brewers signed backup catcher George Kottaras to a one-year contract which avoided salary arbitration. Kottaras batted .252 in 49 games last year with five homers and 17 R-B-I's. And he hit for the cycle on September third.