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Payroll Edging Up, But Marlins Will Trail Pack (Again)

               The Marlins budgeted three more millionaires for the 2009 season on Tuesday when they reached contract agreements with Ricky Nolasco ($2.4 million), Cody Ross ($2.225 million) and Alfredo Amezaga ($1.3 million).

              Jorge Cantu ($3.5 million) and Jeremy Hermida ($2.25 million) reached agreements Monday. 

              Assuming an independent arbitor awards Dan Uggla anywhere from $5 million to $6 million when the All-Star second baseman has his salary arbitration hearing in February, the Marlins will likely open the season with a payroll in the $33 million range.

               That's an increase from their 2008 roster figure of $22 million, but should keep them positioned at the bottom of the major league totem pole for the third time in four years.