McGehee becomes cost-effective signing

MIAMI — When the Marlins traded Justin Ruggiano to the Cubs, the team talked about re-allocating those projected dollars elsewhere.

Now we see what the team meant.

The Marlins on Wednesday announced the signing of free agent Casey McGehee.

Essentially what the Marlins did was take the projected $1.8 million that would have gone to Ruggiano, and distribute a good portion to McGehee.

Actually, the Marlins saved money in the deal, because McGehee is signed for $1.1 million, plus incentives. Ruggiano, in his first year of arbitration, is projected to make $1.8 million.

Taking it a step further, the $700,000 difference can also be applied to signing Brian Bogusevic, obtained from the Cubs for Ruggiano.

Bogusevic made $483,000 last year.

Basically, the trade and the free agent signing has allowed the Marlins to bring in McGehee, a starting third base, and Bogusevic, a left-handed hitting outfielder, for what the cost would have been to retain Ruggiano, who would have been Miami’s fourth outfielder.

McGehee and Ruggiano are 31-year-old right-handed hitters with power.

Basically, the Marlins felt McGehee would provide similar numbers to Ruggiano, who belted 18 home runs and drove in 50 last year.

Last year in Japan, McGehee belted 27 homers.

Ruggiano plays all three outfield spots, and he was willing to play some first base.

McGehee, meanwhile, has big league experience at first base, and he is an option to play the position against left-handed pitchers.

The Marlins say they plan on giving Garrett Jones starts against lefty pitching. But the left-handed hitting first baseman has struggled in the past against southpaws. McGehee is a right-handed hitting option.

The Marlins view McGehee as a similiar player to Ruggiano, and he fits their roster better right now. And the cost was right.

Joe Frisaro

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