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MLB Team Report - Miami Marlins - INSIDE PITCH

MIAMI -- On June 17, the Miami Marlins were just a half-game out of first place in the National League.

They are now six games out.

That shows how quickly things can change, and no one is more aware of that than Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee, who hit 23 homers and drove in 104 runs for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010.

But McGehee's numbers never again reached that lofty status, and, by 2013, he was out of the major leagues, playing in Japan instead.

He returned to the majors for 2014, signing a one-year contract with the Marlins in what has been a steal of a deal for Miami.

Miami got just 44 RBIs out of its third baseman last year. This season, McGehee alone has produced 50 RBIs -- and we're not even at the All-Star break.

It would seem prudent if the Marlins spend the All-Star break trying to sign McGehee to a two- or three-year contract extension. But the Marlins are a small-market team -- some would say cheap -- and that may not happen.

McGehee is 31 and would seem to have at least three good years left.

Plus, that length of a deal would allow 2013 first-round pick Colin Moran time to develop. Moran, a third baseman drafted out of the University of North Carolina, hit .299 in low Class A ball last season and is hitting .296 in high Class A this year.

Moran should arrive to the Marlins in late 2016 or early 2017.

When he initially comes up, Moran, a lefty line-drive hitter, can sit out some tough lefties and let McGehee -- assuming he is still with the Marlins -- take those starts.

In that scenario, McGehee, a right-handed hitter, could also play first base when Moran starts at third.

McGehee, by all accounts, is a very good clubhouse influence, and it would make a lot of sense to retain him as soon as possible.

But the better he plays and the longer the Marlins wait, the more his price tag will soar. And right now, you could make a strong argument that McGehee is an NL All-Star and the team's second-most valuable hitter behind Giancarlo Stanton.


MLB Team Report - Miami Marlins - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 41-44