Infielder Casey McGehee, who contributed in leading the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles to their first Japan Series championship this season, has been granted a release, the commissioner’s office said Tuesday.
McGehee was among the commissioner’s list of protected players retaining negotiating rights for next year, but the team has granted him a release since the 31-year-old Californian is contemplating a return to the major leagues.
The Eagles plan to continue talks with McGehee and have already proposed sweetening the offer with a substantial pay raise in a multiyear deal.
Hiroshi Abei, the Eagles’ scout in charge of signing foreign players, said he received a phone call from McGehee’s agent early on Tuesday morning. “We accepted his request because that’s what he desires,” said Abei.
Should McGehee decide to continue playing in Japan, he has said he would like to remain with the Eagles.
In his first year in Japan, the former New York Yankees player who spent most of his time at third base with the Eagles, hit a team-high 28 home runs with 93 RBIs in all 144 games.