Seven months after discarding third baseman Casey McGehee, the Marlins reached into their recent past and brought him back. The third baseman re-signed with the Marlins on Friday after clearing release waivers.
“It’s been a strange ride to get back here,” McGehee said.
The Marlins traded McGehee to San Francisco in December right after they acquired Martin Prado in a trade with the Yankees.
“Prado’s awesome,” McGehee said. “From that standpoint, I get it. You always want to try to do what you can do to make the team better. But, at the same time, I was disappointed — not so much that we got him, but that I wasn’t going to be here. I felt like we had things going in the right direction.”
McGehee was named the National League’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2014 for his accomplishments on the field with the Marlins. He was the team’s top hitter with runners in scoring position.
But after acquiring Prado, the Marlins no longer had any use for him.
Now they feel they do. Once the Giants released McGehee, who struggled in San Francisco, the Marlins reached back out to the third baseman and reeled him back to Miami.
With Prado on the disabled list, McGehee will see playing time. Manager Dan Jennings said he intended to start McGehee at third on Saturday.
The rest of the time, Jennings said he will use McGehee in a part-time role at both third and first base, and also off the bench as a pinch-hitter.
The Marlins also value McGehee’s leadership presence in the clubhouse.
“He helped set a culture last year in the clubhouse,” Jennings said.
McGehee said he would like nothing more than to stick around for more than one season this time.
“My biggest thing is, whether it’s this year or whenever it is, I’d love to be here to see this thing across the finish line, really be able to completely invest in what’s going on here,” he said.
It’s a low-risk move for the Marlins. The Giants are picking up the remainder of his $4.8 million salary, minus the pro-rated minimum.
BAKER GOES ON DL
A roster spot for McGehee opened up when the Marlins placed backup infielder Jeff Baker on the disabled list with a left intercostal strain.
Baker said he sustained the injury Tuesday night in his only at-bat in Boston.
“I did it on a swing in Boston,” Baker said. “When I did it, I knew right then and there that I was going to be down for a while.”
There is no timetable on Baker’s return.
▪ With the second-worst record in the majors entering Friday, the Marlins have finally reached the jumping-off point in the season and are telling teams they will listen to offers for pitchers Mat Latos, Dan Haren and Brad Hand, as well as Baker.
None of the names come as any great surprise. Latos and Haren have long been rumored as prime trade candidates. They, like Baker, are eligible for free agency after the season and not in the Marlins’ long-term plans. Nor is the lefty Hand, who has remained on the 25-man roster the past two seasons in large part because he has been out of options.
Another player the Marlins could deal before the July 31 trade deadline is reliever Steve Cishek.
▪ Saturday: Marlins LHP Adam Conley (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Cincinnati Reds RHP Anthony DeSclafani (5-6, 3.65), 4:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Sunday: Marlins RHP Dan Haren (6-5, 3.34) vs. Reds RHP Johnny Cueto (6-5, 2.61), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.