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Marlins acquire 6 players through the Rule 5 Draft today


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DALLAS -- A couple few more youngsters promise to factor into the reshaping of the Marlins' roster.


With the payroll dropping significantly, Marlins vice president of player development and scouting Jim Fleming says the organization has to explore all avenues for talent.


The Marlins on Thursday used the Rule 5 Draft to help bolster their roster.


Florida selected six players in the Rule 5 Draft -- including two in the Major League phase -- that took place on the final day of the Winter Meetings.


With the 12th overall pick in the first round of the MLB phase, the Marlins plucked power-hitting second baseman Daniel Uggla from Arizona's Triple-A affiliate. In the second round, 6-foot-6 left-hander Michael Megrew was selected out of the Dodgers system.


According to Fleming, both will be given a chance to hook on with the Marlins in Spring Training.


In addition, Florida took four players from the Triple-A Phase. Infielder Agustin Septimo was taken 13th overall from Milwaukee's Double-A Huntsville club. In the second round, shortstop Jose Ronda was the 29th overall pick from Cincinnati's Double-A Chattanooga squad. Florida's third-round choice was right-hander Jarrod Farrell from Tampa Bay's Double-A Montgomery club, and the fourth-round pick (46th overall) was right-hander Christopher Young from Pittsburgh's Double-A Altoona squad.


The Marlins didn't lose any players from their systems in this year's Rule 5 Draft.


The price tag for players in the MLB Phase is $50,000, and the Triple-A Phase cost is $12,000.


Because they were selected in the MLB Phase, Uggla and Megrew have to make the Marlins' Opening Day 25-man roster. Otherwise they are returned to their respective clubs, at a cost of an additional $25,000.


Uggla is a natural second baseman who now is in the mix with Josh Wilson and Alfredo Amezaga for a starting spot.


The Marlins are searching for second-base options with big-league experience to replace three-time All-Star Luis Castillo, who was dealt to the Twins. Despite not having played in the Majors, Uggla will get a chance in the spring.


"If you look at his numbers in Double-A, he had an extremely good year," Fleming said. "He went to the Arizona Fall League and continued to swing the bat. He's kind of a blue-collar offensive second baseman. He adds some depth to our system."


At Double-A Tennessee, Uggla hit .297 with 21 homers, 33 doubles, three triples and 87 RBIs. He had a .502 slugging percentage and a .378 on-base percentage.


Marlins officials were impressed by him in the Arizona Fall League, where he belted seven homers and drove in 22 runs with a .304 batting average for the Peoria Javelinas.


"We had reports on him during the year," Fleming said. "He played well for everybody. We felt that it was a nice fit for us. Our jobs are wide open, especially with young kids, you don't know. [uggla] is a stocky, strong kid. He doesn't have the athleticism of Louie [Castillo], but he's a very solid player."


The Marlins are considering using Robert Andino at second base, but the club's second-round pick in 2002 is a natural shortstop. Andino will challenge promising prospect Hanley Ramirez for a starting position.


Megrew, meanwhile, is a tall left-hander who is rebounding from Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss almost all of 2005. Megrew threw a total of nine innings of Class A ball late in the year, and he will be about 18 months removed from surgery in the spring.


"We all saw him in 2004 in the Florida State League playing for Vero Beach," Fleming said. "We liked him a lot. He had Tommy John surgery and missed a year. He's on the comeback. There is some risk always, but 6-foot-6 left-handers are hard to come by -- that you really like. We're willing to take the risk that he is fully rehabilitated. In our situation, with the youth we're going to have in the Major Leagues, it is not such a longshot."


A starter throughout his career, Megrew is being viewed as more of a middle reliever for now.



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