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Marlins sign 1B Casey Kotchman

   JUPITER -- The Marlins have signed first baseman Casey Kotchman to a minor-league contract and invitation to spring training, a move that highlights the increasing uncertainty surrounding Logan Morrison.

   "I don't know if you want to call it insurance but, yeah, we have some concern that Lomo's not going to be ready," said Marlins president of baseball operations, Larry Beinfest.

 Kotchman Kotchman is good with the glove as evidenced by his career fielding percentage of .998, best among active first basemen. But his bat has been a notch below average for the position. He is a career .262 hitter with 71 home runs.

    "The well-traveled Kotchman has played for six different teams -- the Angels, Braves, Red Sox, Mariners, Rays and Indians -- over the past five seasons. He hit .229 with 12 home runs and an OPS of .612 in 463 at bats for Cleveland last season.

    Morrison has scheduled a doctor's visit in Colorado on Tuesday to have his surgically repaired right knee examined. He could receive the go-ahead at that time to begin jogging, but has said all along he's unsure if he'll be ready for Opening Day.