Since trading Miguel Cabrera in 2007, the Marlins have trotted out five different players as their primary third baseman. Casey McGehee will make it six. McGehee, a 31-year-old free agent who spent last season in Japan following five years in the majors, has signed a 1-year contract with the Marlins. The Marlins had been in serious discussions with McGehee for days.
The deal is worth $1.1 million and includes bonus incentives.
TMcGehee spent five seasons in the majors, primarily with the Milwaukee Brewers, before heading last season to Japan, where he hit .289 with 27 homers and 90 RBI in 137 games for the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Pacific League.
McGehee [stats] enjoyed his best season in the majors in 2010 with the Brewers when he hit .285 with 23 homers and 104 RBI for Milwaukee. But he tailed off at the plate in subsequent years, and in 2012 hit only .217 with 9 homers while playing for the Pirates and Yankees.
The Marlins have been looking for a stopgap to play third until Colin Moran, their first-round pick in 2013, worked his way up to the majors.
The Marlins have been busy this offseason in trying to upgrade a lineup that ranked last in the majors in scoring. They have signed four new starting position players -- catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, first baseman Garrett Jones, second baseman Rafael Furcal and McGehee -- while trading away Logan Morrison and Justin Ruggiano for a back-end reliever (Carter Capps) and backup outfielder (Brian Bogusevic), respectively.
Third base has been a revolving door for the Marlins ever since the Cabrera trade. They have used Jorge Cantu (2008 and 2010), Emilio Bonifacio (2009), Greg Dobbs (2011), Hanley Ramirez (2012) and Placido Polanco (2013). And they haven't had anyone play as many as three straight seasons at third since the Mike Lowell era ended with his trade to the Boston Red Sox after the 2005 season.
To make room for McGehee on the 40-man roster, catcher Kyle Skipworth was designated for assignment.