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.
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, then traded McGehee for a pair of righthanded minor-league pitchers.
Prado, 31, hit .316 with seven home runs and 16 RBIs in 133 at-bats for New York last year. He is 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 righthander David Phelps for righty Nathan Eovaldi, first baseman Garrett Jones, and minor-league righthander 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 he also can relieve.
McGehee back home
McGehee knows how much Pablo Sandoval meant to the Giants and the city of San Francisco. Even living across the country in Miami, he understood the affinity for the Kung Fu Panda in McGehee's native Bay Area.
After a comeback year for the Marlins sparked by a season in Japan to find himself and his swing, McGehee insists he will stick to what he does best. He realizes he's a different player from the big personality he will replace.
"Obviously, Pablo was a tremendous Giant. It's no secret how the people in San Francisco feel about him," McGehee said Saturday, a day after the trade sending him to the World Series champions was completed.