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Detroit Tigers Re-Sign Casey McGehee to Minors Deal

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Mar 7, 2016; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Casey McGehee (31) at bat during a spring training game against the New York Mets at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 7, 2016; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Casey McGehee (31) at bat during a spring training game against the New York Mets at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Detroit Tigers announced on Thursday that the team brought back infielder Casey McGehee on a minor league deal. McGehee was cut earlier in the week. He will report to minor league camp, but will likely end up at Triple-A Toledo to start the season.

Earlier in the week, the Detroit Tigers released two veterans in camp trying to make the team. One was former Mets reliever Bobby Parnell, the other was ex-Miami infielder Casey McGehee.

Mar 3, 2016; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Casey McGehee (31) bats during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2016; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Casey McGehee (31) bats during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit would eventually go on to re-sign Parnell to a minor league deal. Now it seems McGehee has followed the same path. The Tigers official Twitter account announced the news on Thursday, writing “The #Tigers today have signed INF Casey McGehee to a minor league contract and he reported to minor league camp this morning.”

The infielder signed with the Tigers earlier in the offseason, looking to catch on with the big league club after a disappointing 2015 season. McGehee played in 109 games split between the San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins. In total, he only scored 14 runs, drove in 20 and collected a mere 14 extra-base hits (12 doubles and two home runs). The ex-Giant’s batting average was a meager .198.

He was never going to unseat Miguel Cabrera or Nick Castellanos at first base or third base, respectively, but the veteran had a legitimate shot at making the team as a bench cog. Despite the down year in 2015, McGehee would have been an offensive upgrade over Andrew Romine on the bench.

Going into 2015, the corner infielder was coming a triumphant return season to Major League Baseball in 2014 when he hit .287 with 177 hits, 29 doubles and 76 RBI in 160 games for Miami.

Things could change, but Detroit is sticking with the speed and defense Romine provides compared to McGehee’s offense.

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For his part, McGehee didn’t make the team for lack of production. In 20 Spring Training games, the infielder hit .316 with a stellar .413 on-base percentage. He also scored eight runs, drew seven walks, drove in six runs and mashed a home run and a pair of doubles.

McGehee will likely start the season with Triple-A Toledo where he could see significant playing time at either first base or third base. It is still possible that the 33-year-old can still make an impact with the Tigers this season. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Aviles and Tyler Collins should join Romine in a much improved bench, but added depth is always a positive.  McGehee would certainly add a different element to the bench.

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What’s more, he would also be the best in-house option to replace Cabrera or Castellanos should either player go down with an injury.Both Aviles and Romine could fill in sporadically, but both are better suited coming off the bench as utility options.

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