Kind of a surprise that the Marlins took a third baseman with the Rule 5 pick they obtained from the Houston Astros as the player to be named later in the Matt Lindstrom trade. But the Marlins are extremely high on Jorge Jimenez, who can play either infield corner position.
Even though the Marlins have Jorge Cantu poised to play third, with Wes Helms as his backup, the Marlins could shuffle pieces if Jimenez convinces them in spring training that he's worth keeping on the roster. If not, they'll send him back to the Boston Red Sox -- via the Astros -- along with a $25,000 oh-well check.
But Jimenez is the reason the Marlins traded with Houston in the Lindstrom deal. They wanted to move up in the draft -- from the their own 22nd pick to the Astros' 8th -- to improve their chances of selecting him.
"It definitely made the trade more attractive," said Larry Beinfest, the Marlins' president of baseball operations.
Jimenez, who swings left-handed, hit .289 with 13 home runs and 87 RBI last season at Portland, Boston's Double A affiliate.
"This is a guy whose performance kept moving up as he went through their system," said Jim Fleming, the Marlins' vice president of player development and scouting. "We think we're getting a guy who's on the come."
Jimenez, a 25-year-old native of Puerto Rico, was chosen by the Red Sox in the 15th round of the 2006 draft out of Porterville (Calif.) College.
If Jimenez sticks, the Marlins could do a number of things, including moving Cantu back to first. The Marlins could also use Jimenez as a left-handed bat off the bench, though they would prefer to go for someome more experienced for the role left vacated by the departure of Ross Gload. .