Trading third baseman Casey McGehee was not on the Marlins' list of offseason priorities. However, after the club acquired Martin Prado in a trade with the Yankees, Miami did not feel it was necessary to keep McGehee on the roster. Ultimately, McGehee was flipped to the Giants for a pair of minor league arms.
Although the Marlins felt keeping McGehee as a utility infielder would be excessive, President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill told the Associated Press the deal was necessary because of what Prado could bring to the lineup both offensively and defensively. Hill also mentioned contract status, which most likely justifies the move.
"Prado brings athleticism to both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively," Hill said. "And the control — we know we have him for two years. Casey was on the brink of free agency. Given the opportunity, we felt it would be a good fit to bring Martin over."
After McGehee's fast offensive start in 2014, the Marlins were reportedly considering giving him an extension. However, he batted just .243 after the All-Star break, and only posted four home runs. With McGehee hitting behind Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins were rightfully concerned about the lack of second half production. For most of July and the start of August, the club was still in the hunt for a Wild Card spot before injuries and offensive inconsistencies led to notable late losses.
With the moves that they have made this offseason, the Marlins have changed their entire infield with the exception of shortstop. The Marlins were looking to move Nathan Eovaldi, as he was not in their long term plans, and as a result, received Prado in return. Prado posted a .282/.321/.412 batting line to complement a 2.6 WAR in 2014, which is an upgrade over McGehee's 2.0 WAR. McGehee was solid defensively last season, but Prado's versatility should also help the infield late in games.
While Prado is an upgrade, the Marlins likely did pay attention to control. Miami will have Prado under contract for two more seasons, while McGehee will likely test the market after 2015. Upon returning from Japan, McGehee was looking to prove he can be a consistent infield option, and if he has a solid season with the Giants, will be seeking a notable contract.
The Marlins improved their infield upon adding Prado, and despite the fact that McGehee was a fan favorite, he may not have wanted to remain in Miami long term. Miami's infield pieces, pending any trades, will be together for the next two seasons, which should contribute to the consistency the young team is looking for.