Starter Masahiro Tanaka will be the most coveted member of the Rakuten Golden Eagles this off-season, but he’s not the only one who might be wearing an MLB uniform in 2014.
Casey McGehee will explore MLB opportunities following a productive season for one of Japan’s top teams.
In his first season overseas, the 30-year-old infielder hit 27 home runs while driving in 90 and posting an .883 OPS for the Eagles. He isn’t ruling out staying in Japan, but he plans to explore a return to MLB in the coming months.
McGehee agreed to a one-year deal with the Eagles last winter, meaning he’ll be free to explore MLB opportunities this off-season. After assessing his options on both sides of the Pacific, he’ll decide on his 2014 team.
“It has been a great season in Japan and at the end of the season he will decide whether to continue in Japan or return here,” agent Barry Meister said.
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McGehee, a right-handed hitter who has spent most of his professional career at third base, is expected to seek another full-time role in 2014. He hit 61 home runs in five MLB seasons with the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees before signing with Rakuten last off-season.
McGehee was initially selected by the Cubs in the 10th round of the 2003 draft.