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Marlins ink Kotchman to Minor League deal

JUPITER, Fla. -- The first base competition has gotten a little more crowded.

The Marlins on Friday signed Casey Kotchman to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

Kotchman, who turns 30 on Feb. 22, will arrive at camp on Saturday.

A left-handed hitter, and strong defensively, Kotchman batted. 229 in 142 games for the Indians last season. He added 12 home runs and 55 RBIs.

With the Rays in 2011, Kotchman hit .306 with 10 homers and 48 RBIs.

Logan Morrison, the projected starting first baseman, may not be ready for Opening Day. Morrison is recovering from right knee surgery, and he has yet to be cleared to run.

On Tuesday, Morrison will be examined by Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colo., to determine when he is ready to run at full speed.

The Marlins held their first full-squad workouts on Friday, and working at first base were Greg Dobbs and Joe Mahoney.

A St. Petersburg, Fla., native, Kotchman was a first-round pick of the Angels in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft. In nine seasons, he's played for the Angels, Braves, Red Sox, Mariners, Rays and Indians.

He is a career .262 hitter with 71 homers.

The Marlins have 74 players in camp.