McGehee agrees to $1.1 million deal with Marlins

With the addition of third baseman Casey McGehee, the Miami

Marlins have replaced half of their punchless 2013 lineup.

McGehee, a five-year major league veteran who played in Japan

last season, agreed to a $1.1 million, one-year contract Wednesday.

Miami earlier acquired catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, first baseman

Garrett Jones and second baseman Rafael Furcal to shake up an

offense that ranked last in the majors in runs and batting

average.

”We needed to get more production offensively,” president of

baseball operations Mike Hill said. ”We still have some work to

do, but we’re very comfortable with the progress we’ve made this

offseason.”

Miami designated 2008 first-round pick Kyle Skipworth for

assignment. The catcher went hitless in three at-bats during a

brief stint with the Marlins in his major league debut this

year.

Marlins third basemen totaled three homers and 44 RBIs in 2013,

worst in the majors in both categories. McGehee hit .292 with 28

homers in Japan last season.

”It was a great learning experience for me,” he said. ”I had

to rely on myself a lot more as far as what I was doing at the

plate. I started to realize the home runs showed up more when that

wasn’t the sole purpose of my at-bat. And being humbled a little

bit having to go over to Japan – all those things combined, I

re-found my confidence. Now I’m excited about coming back and

jump-starting my career over here.”

McGehee’s stint at third base for the Marlins might be brief.

They took University of North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran

with the sixth overall pick in the amateur draft, and he’s expected

to eventually take over the job.

”Moran definitely had an influence in our decision-making

process,” Hill said. ”We invested a lot in him. We didn’t want to

rush him, but there’s nothing we have seen that leads us not to

believe he’s going to be a productive player. When he’s ready to be

there, he’ll be there.”

In the meantime, the Marlins will count on the 31-year-old

McGehee, who has an average of .257 in five big league seasons. He

played for the Pirates and Yankees in 2012 and batted .217 with

nine homers in 114 games.

The Marlins will be his fifth major league team. In addition to

his base salary, he can earn $400,000 in performance bonuses:

$50,000 each for 300, 350, 400, 450, 500, 525, 550 and 575 plate

appearances.