Bucs swap Veras for Brewers’ McGehee

The Pirates and Brewers swapped arbitration-eligible players on Monday, with Casey McGehee coming to Pittsburgh in exchange for right-hander Jose Veras.

Veras was in jeopardy of not being tendered a contract by Monday’s deadline, while McGehee became expandable after Milwaukee signed free agent Aramis Ramirez to be the club’s starting third baseman.

After batting .285 with 23 homers and 104 RBIs in 2010, McGehee endured a tough 2011 season. He hit just .223 with 13 homers, 67 RBIs and a .280 on-base percentage. McGehee appeared in 155 games, mostly as the team’s starting third baseman.

The addition of McGehee, 29, gives the Pirates another option at third base, though the club has insisted that Pedro Alvarez will get the first crack at holding onto the starting role. If the Pirates don’t need McGehee to step in and play third, he could be used across the diamond at first base or as a back-up outfielder.

Veras made a career-high 79 appearances for the Pirates in 2011, many of those coming in late-inning, set-up situations. The 31-year-old right-hander finished with a 3.80 ERA, 79 strikeouts and 34 walks in 71 innings.

— Jenifer Langosch

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