After coming away without a third baseman, which many considered the organization's top priority at the Winter Meetings, the Miami Marlins signed free agent infielder Casey McGehee to a one-year contract on Wednesday afternoon.
Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald was among the first to report the transaction:
Casey McGehee agrees to terms on 1-year deal with #Marlins— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) December 18, 2013
McGehee, who has played first, second, and third base in the past, hasn't played with a big league team since 2012 when he was a member of the New York Yankees. Between the Pirates and Yankees that year, McGehee batted .217 with nine home runs and 41 runs batted in through 114 games.
Not receiving a lot of interest from MLB clubs after 2012, McGehee played the 2013 season in Japan as a member of the Rakuten Golden Eagles. He hit .298 with 28 home runs and 93 RBIs for the Japanese Series Champions.
President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill confirmed via Twitter that McGehee would be the Marlins' starting third baseman in 2014.
"We’re very excited to add a veteran, right-handed bat to our lineup and he will bring stability as our everyday 3B." - Michael Hill— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) December 18, 2013
Miami was reportedly looking for third base options that could be explored through a possible trade. The Marlins were thought to be interested in Rays utility infielder Sean Rodriguez and Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, among others.
Signing McGehee not only means the Marlins don't have to part with any pitchers to acquire a third baseman, but also puts together a veteran infield featuring Garrett Jones and Rafael Furcal, with Adeiny Hechavarria at shortstop. Jones and McGehee platooned at first base for the Pittsburgh in 2012.
Spencer noted that the Marlins have been aggressively pursuing McGehee for the last few days, discussing a career-best year offensively in 2010.
McGehee enjoyed his best season in the majors in 2010 when he hit .285 with 23 homers and 104 RBI for the Brewers. But he fizzled at the plate in subsequent years, hitting just .217 with nine homers in 2012 with the Pirates and Yankees.
Only signing him for a year, the Marlins appear to be confident that third base prospect Colin Moran will continue to progress quickly. Donovan Solano and Derek Dietrich can also see time at the position if Manager Mike Redmond wants to give another infielder a day off.
The deal is worth $1.1 million plus incentives, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.