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The Giants took their time finding a replacement for third baseman Pablo Sandoval, but they got their man in Santa Cruz native Casey McGehee, who GM Brian Sabean said on Saturday has been on the team's short list of candidates since before the GM meetings in early November.
"I'm relieved that third base is taken care of on a one-year deal where the price point was a fit for our payroll," Sabean said on a conference call Saturday afternoon.
"Great news," said manager Bruce Bochy, who indicated that McGehee will be slated into the heart of the Giants order -- likely a four-, five- or six-hitter. "I couldn't have been more thrilled."
"I would have no problem putting him in the four-hole," Bochy said. "He did a great job protecting (Giancarlo) Stanton down there (in Miami). ... He gives us some flexibility there.
"(He's) a guy that can keep the line moving, doesn't strike out a lot. I think he's going to be a great fit in the clubhouse with the way he plays the game -- playing it the right way and playing it hard."
McGehee, who is in his final year of arbitration and could reportedly make up to $4 million this year, is fully aware of the hole he's being asked to fill.
"Obviously Pablo was a tremendous Giant, and it's no secret how the people in SF feel about him -- great player," McGehee said. "Any pressure that comes is just from myself expecting to go out and do my job every night.
"Me and Pablo are different players. I'd be foolish to think I was going to step into Pablo's shoes. My job is to go in and find my niche within the team and pave my own way and not pick up where Pablo left off."
McGehee, who has never hit a home run at AT&T Park where he owns a .260 average in 15 career games, has plenty of family and friends in the Bay Area. He played high school ball at Soquel High School near Santa Cruz and was an avid Bay Area sports fan growing up.
"I was a baseball fan first and foremost, and I gravitated toward both Bay Area teams. During the late 80s and early 90s, it was a great time to be a Bay Area sports fan," said McGehee, who cited Will Clark and Matt Williams as people he idolized and cheered for.
The 32-year-old hit .287 with four home runs and 76 RBI in 160 games for the Marlins and was named Comeback Player of the Year last year after spending the 2013 season playing alongside Andruw Jones in Japan.
"I find myself walking around with a smile on my face," McGehee said. "I cant wait to be a part of it and get to Scottsdale and help this team get back to where they're accustomed -- to the postseason and the World Series."