MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Marlins opted to replace NL comeback player of the year Casey McGehee with Martin Prado at third base because they want greater athleticism and a more favorable contract at the position.READ MORE: North Miami Beach PD Needs Help Locating 15-Year-old Jeimy Henrriquez
Even so, trading McGehee to the Giants wasn’t an easy decision, Miami president of baseball operations Michael Hill said Saturday.
“It was probably one of the toughest phone calls I’ve ever had to make, to let him know he’d been traded,” Hill said.
Miami acquired Prado from the Yankees on Friday, and then traded McGehee for a pair of right-handed minor league pitchers.
Prado, 31, hit .316 with seven homers and 16 RBIs in 133 at-bats for New York last year. He’s two years away from free agency, while McGehee, 32, can become a free agent after the 2015 season.
“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.”
With the deals, the Marlins have changed 75 percent of their infield this offseason. Second baseman Dee Gordon and first baseman Michael Morse are the other newcomers.
In the deal with the Yankees, the Marlins acquired right-hander David Phelps for righty Nathan Eovaldi, first baseman Garrett Jones and minor league right-hander Domingo German.
Phelps provides depth in the rotation, which will be without ace Jose Fernandez early in the season while he recovers from elbow surgery. Phelps is expected to compete for the fifth starting spot and can also relieve.
“It should be interesting to see how it unfolds, but we love the versatility,” Hill said. “We know the big man, Jose, is coming back in June or July, and we wanted to give ourselves as much flexibility as possible in our staff.”READ MORE: Former US Rep. Carrie Meek Passes Away At 95
Right-hander Dan Haren, acquired in a seven-player trade with the Dodgers last week, is considering retirement and hasn’t made a decision, Hill said.
“He’s still working through it,” Hill said. “We’re going to give him the time he needs. I just continue to stress to him that this is a good team, and we want him to be part of it. He would fit nicely.”
The Marlins haven’t given Haren a deadline, Hill said.
Fernandez and slugger Giancarlo Stanton are on schedule in their recoveries from surgery, Hill said. Stanton, whose season was curtailed when he was hit in the face by a pitch in September, has begun his normal offseason training regimen in his native California.
“He’s good to go,” Hill said. “He’s working out, in the cage. He’s getting ready hopefully for an MVP season.”
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