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First baseman Joe Mahoney claimed by Marlins

First baseman Joe Mahoney, who was designated for assignment by the Orioles earlier this week, has been claimed off waivers by the Florida Marlins.

Mahoney was designated on Wednesday to make room for newly acquired third baseman Danny Valencia. The Orioles acquired Valencia from the Red Sox for cash considerations.

“You’re surprised when something like that happens,” Mahoney said. “But when it happened I was hoping I would get another opportunity from another team and I did, so I’m looking forward to turning the page and getting an opportunity to play down south.”

The 25-year-old Mahoney was called up to the Orioles twice last season, making his major league debut on July 7 in Anaheim. That was his only major league start and he was 0-for-4 on the season.

Last season, he hit .265/.319/.389 with 10 homers and 56 RBIs in 132 games at Triple-A Norfolk.

A 6-foot-6 left-handed hitter, Mahoney was the organization’s 2010 Brooks Robinson minor league player of the year after hitting .307/.366/.498 with 18 homers and 78 RBIs in 124 games between Class-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie.  He battled a nagging quad injury that set him back in 2011, but still hit .294/.354/.508 with 11 homers and 69 RBI in 88 games mostly at Bowie.

“After that year (2010) and even the year before that and even my year in 2011, I thought I’d get an opportunity,” Mahoney said. “But unfortunately I didn’t and they went another direction. I’m excited to move on and work with the Marlins and make their team out of spring training and be their first baseman.”

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