Rule 5 Draft busy at Minor League levels

Marlins select RHP Johnson, C Tissenbaum in Triple-A phase; lose 7 from Double-A

Rule 5 Draft busy at Minor League levels

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Marlins may not have completed any deals at the Winter Meetings, but they were among the busiest teams in the Rule 5 Draft.

After not making a pick in the Major League phase of Thursday morning's Draft, Miami made Minor League phase selections, and the club also had seven players from its Double-A Jacksonville roster snared by other organizations.

Rule 5 Draft results

With the sixth overall pick in the Triple-A phase, the Marlins selected right-hander Patrick Johnson from the Pirates' Double-A affiliate, and they went with catcher Maxx Tissenbaum from the Rays' roster in the second round. The cost for each claim is $12,000.

Miami made the only selection of any team in the Double-A phase, picking right-hander Juan Caballero from the Cardinals, who comes at a cost of $4,000.

Unlike the Major League phase, in which selections carry a $50,000 price tag, players taken in the Minor League phases are not subject to being returned to their former club.

The Marlins had the seventh slot in the Major League phase, but they passed on the pick because there wasn't a player they felt was worth the price. Also, the team's 40-man roster is at 38, and a decision was made to keep those two slots open.

"We talked on a few folks that we were interested in," Marlins assistant general manager Brian Chattin said. "We debated several at length, and at the end of the day, when we got to our pick, we felt we were just going to stay with what we had, and leave the flexibility open at the Major League roster at 38."

The seven players Miami lost in the Triple-A phase were RHP Enderson Franco (Braves), 3B Zack Cox (Nationals), RHP Felipe Gonzalez (Dodgers), LHP Chipper Smith (Orioles), 1B Viosergy Rosa (A's), RHP D.J. Johnson (Angels) and Alex Burgos (Dodgers).

Marlins' Top 30 Prospects

"What happened today, we added some quality depth, but we also lost some depth, too," Chattin said. "You feel good for those guys. They now have new opportunities. You hope it works out for them. But seven players from our system in the Minor League phase is considerable. We'll have some work to do to try to fill some depth needs we have now, but overall, I think we're moving in the right direction."

Miami's organizational depth took a hit at the Winter Meetings in 2014, when several prospects and young players were included in trades that landed Dee Gordon, Miguel Rojas and Dan Haren from the Dodgers and Mat Latos from the Reds.

"We're simply in the market to get incrementally better with each signing that we make," Chattin said. "So as we look at the free-agent market, as we look at the Rule 5 Draft, when we look at independent leagues, we look at winter ball, anything we can identify that might make us incrementally better, then that's what we're going to pursue. As long as we're not, obviously, taking development time away from a player we have in house and feel strongly about."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.