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Trades Net Prized Talent For Marlins


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Full story: Sentinel link

Trades net some prized talent for Marlins


By Juan C. Rodriguez, Staff Writer, Posted December 9 2005


DALLAS -- Their market correction essentially completed as the Winter Meetings adjourned Thursday, the Marlins won't know how well they did on these trades for a few seasons. The 2006 won-loss record won't portray how masterfully or miserably General Manager Admin Beinfest executed his owner's edict to slash payroll. The true barometer will be 2008 or later when the Marlins are positioned to contend again.


"I don't think they did this with the understanding they're going to compete next year, but they're building for something to get it going again," Blue Jays General Manager J.P. Riccardi said. "If their whole objective was to trade players to get good players back, they've done a good job. ... You win with arms. They've had a good run of arms, and it looks like they're trying to repeat it that way."


Baseball America has rated seven of the players acquired among the Marlins' top 13 prospects.


"That is one nice thing that you lose track of, to have depth in pitching," Pirates General Manager Dave Littlefield said. "Everybody needs pitching. Everybody's got 11 or 12 guys on their roster where not everybody needs a third baseman or a center fielder. If you've got that kind of depth like they've had in the past, it's a great asset to go out into the trade market.


"They've moved fast, and it certainly appears they spent a lot of time planning as far as who they were trying to get. They got some nice top-end prospects, guys fairly close to the big leagues with pretty significant ceilings. It's going to be an interesting club the next couple of years from a talent standpoint."


Added Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry: "My view looking from afar, and it really hit me the last couple of days, when you have to go through what they're going through I think they did a tremendous job of compartmentalizing and organizing the way they did it.... I think they did a great job. As happy as we were [to acquire Juan Pierre], I can't tell you it didn't hurt a little bit, too. We gave them some good guys."




Thursday, the Marlins went on a spending spree by their recent standards, shelling out $148,000 for six Rule 5 Draft picks.


In the major league phase they selected second baseman Daniel Uggla from the Diamondbacks organization and left-hander Michael Megrew, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2004 and returned in time to make four appearances in the Dodgers system.


Uggla caught the Marlins' eye in the Arizona Fall League, where he batted .304 with a .988 on-base plus slugging percentage for Peoria. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound Uggla, who Marlins vice president of player development and scouting Jim Fleming likened to Toronto's Frank Menechino, was a .295 hitter with 21 homers and 87 RBI for Triple-A Tucson in 2005. The Marlins anticipate Uggla, 25, competing for the starting second base and/or a utility job.


Megrew, 21, is a 6-6, 210- pounder who came back in August a year after undergoing ligament replacement surgery. Last year the Marlins selected a similar player coming off surgery in Luke Hagerty, who flopped and was sent back to the Cubs. "It was a little more of a long shot when we did it with the guy from the Cubs," said Fleming, who envisions Megrew initially as a long reliever. "When he comes into camp, he'll be 18 months out of his surgery."


The selection fee for each was $50,000. If either Uggla or Megrew are not kept on the major league roster, the Marlins must offer them back to their original organizations for $25,000.




Even with the Marlins committing $1.5 million to Brian Moehler next season and $450,000 to Lenny Harris if he makes the team, the payroll remains under $20 million.


Their projected 25-man roster as of today would total $18.285 million, which includes $3.25 million worth of deferrals and other salary commitments.

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Thursday, the Marlins went on a spending spree by their recent standards, shelling out $148,000 for six Rule 5 Draft picks.

That makes me laughGlad to know I wasn't the only one that chuckled.

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Here is Bryan Smith's take on the Marlins top picks that was posted on baseballanalysts.com:


8. Florida Marlins -- Dan Uggla (AZ/AA) -- 2B: .297/.378/.502 in 498 AB

Really just a match made in heaven. After trading Luis Castillo for two pitchers last week, the Marlins don't have a lot of options for second base. It was rumored that some of their minor league shortstops -- Josh Wilson and/or Robert Andino -- would be changing positions, but it's not even clear if either player is ready. So, that likely will leave Uggla battling with Alfredo Amezaga for the job.

If true, I actually like Uggla's chances. He's hardly as fast as Amezaga, and it's likely that he won't provide such good defense. But his true strength is his bat, which was one of the best in the hitter-friendly Southern League last season. Having an ISO of .205 in that league is a difficult talk, so I see little reason that Uggla can't put up a .260/.320/.410 line in a full season of the Majors. Given what the Marlins will be trotting out there on April 1, you can bet I'm in.

Chance of Lasting: 80%. The Marlins need a second baseman, and could afford giving Uggla the part-time job.




12. Florida Marlins -- Mike Megrew (LAD/INJ) -- LHP: Injured

If Megrew had not gotten injured a year ago, forcing surgery, he would have been included at the back end of my top 75 prospects. I actually wrote him onto the list, and boasted about the potential he had being a southpaw with such good indicators. The injury will, without question, set Megrew back, making it quite hard to have him adjust on the fly at the Major League level.

The kid's stuff was never particularly good, so who is to say what it will be like now. The Dodgers had to actually shut Megrew down in the Instructional League, though that could have been to save face more than anything else. What the Marlins are really hoping for is that Megrew stays injured, starts the season on the 60-man DL, gets off and gets some rehab time in the minors. A lot of potential in this pick, it's just hard to think that potential will be cashed in.

Chance of Lasting:25%. The chance isn't very much better than Luke Hagerty last year, but the effort is a noble one.



And after just 12 picks, the 2005 Rule 5 draft ended, mostly due to 30 near-full 40-man rosters. This year's group wasn't the greatest class ever, and I guess that only about two players will make it through the season unscathed. Hopefully, the Marlins will give a shot to Dan Uggla, who despite being short, deserves a chance to prove that his bat is for real.

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