With just 15 days till pitchers and catchers report to spring training, we continue with our season preview and take a look at third base. 2013 saw the Marlins get dismal production from Placido Polanco and Ed Lucas at the hot corner. The Marlins have apparently decided to go in a different direction this year by signing Casey McGehee.
This signing is an interesting move as McGehee played last year overseas in Japan. While playing for Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, he won the championship of the Nippon professional League. Even though it was a victory in a Japanese league, McGehee still fits the mold of bringing in a winning pedigree that Miami has obviously focused on this year.
It can be difficult to accurately translate statistics from the Japanese League to MLB, but McGehee was able to hit 27 home runs and post a OBP of .371 in 2013. If he achieves even 75% of those statistics in Miami, it will be viewed as a successful signing.
McGehee also brings positional flexibility to the Marlins. He is more than capable of filling in at first base if needed, and might get that opportunity if Garrett Jones continues to struggle against left-handed pitching.
The downside to this signing is there was a reason that McGehee was playing in Japan. He had suffered a few bad seasons in the major leagues, causing him to have to head overseas for an opportunity to resurrect his career. There is always a chance that he is not able to continue that success here in the States.
Regardless of the outcome, this is a low risk situation for the Marlins, and McGehee is merely a place-holder until young Colin Moran is ready for his chance at the major leagues. If Moran continues to progress, he might get a late season call-up if McGehee struggles or is injured.
McGehee should slot in the sixth or seventh spot in the lineup, and may see some decent pitches to hit in that part of the lineup. I believe that McGehee will have a solid season and this signing will be one of the more positive ones that the Marlins have made this offseason.
What do you think? Will McGehee be able to continue his success from last year in a Marlins uniform? Let us know in the comments below and Go Fish!