For the first time since taking Dan Uggla on the final day of the 2005 Winter Meetings, the Marlins feel they may have landed a sleeper or two.
The Marlins capped off productive a Winter Meetings on Thursday morning by taking two players in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft.
With the sixth overall pick, they selected outfielder Alfredo Silverio off the Dodgers' Triple-A roster. Miami rolled the dice again by taking left-hander Braulio Lara off the Rays' Triple-A roster.
The cost for each is $50,000, and the guidelines of the Rule 5 Draft mandate that the player must be on the Marlins' active roster. If either one is not, he will then be offered back to his original team for $25,000.
In the Triple-A phase, Miami added left-hander Tyler Kehrer off the Angels' Double-A roster. His cost is $12,000.
Silverio, 25, is an interesting case. He's a talented all-around player who hit a home run in the 2011 Futures Game. But on Jan. 23, 2012, he was involved in a serious car accident in the Dominican Republic. His injuries were to his right arm, back and neck. He also sustained a concussion.
Silverio posted a .306 average, with 90 runs scored, 42 doubles, 18 triples, 16 home runs and 85 RBIs in 132 games with Double-A Chattanooga in 2011. Silverio missed all of 2012, which resulted in him being exposed in the Rule 5 Draft.
"All the reports I've read from 2011, he was a sure thing," Marlins vice president of player development Marty Scott said. "An A-plus player."
Recently, Scott saw Silverio work out in the Dominican Republic. He has been cleared from the concussion, but Silverio has yet to be cleared to throw. He also is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
"I saw him in the cage a couple of weeks ago in the Dominican, so I knew he was swinging the bat," Scott said. "He's not getting cleared to throw for a couple of weeks. He's a project."
If Silverio is not healthy by Opening Day, the Marlins could retain him by placing him on the disabled list until he is ready.
The Marlins last found success with a position player in 2005, when they took Uggla in the Rule 5 Draft after the second baseman was left unprotected by the D-backs. Uggla is the Marlins' all-time home runs leader.
"I thought, based on what we saw in 2011, and based on whatever information that we could get, that it was a reasonable risk to bring him in," Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. "We really like him in center field. If he is not completely healthy, we understand that as well."
Lara, 23, is a lefty who many thought would be a top-five pick in the Rule 5 Draft.
"I was shocked he was there when we picked," Scott said.
Lara was 6-10 with a 5.71 ERA in 112 innings for Class A Charlotte.
Lara, who throws 98 mph, has been mostly a starter in the Minor Leagues, but the Marlins will give him a shot out of the bullpen.
"Big arm," Beinfest said. "If he throws strikes, I think we may have something. You take a chance on a lefty."