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Booty still technically Marlins' property


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As Josh Booty was getting ready to pitch in an intrasquad game on Tuesday, D-backs pitching coach Charles Nagy told him about a report from FOXsports.com that Booty was technically still the property of the Marlins.

Booty, who is in D-backs camp as a non-roster invitee after winning "The Next Knuckler" show on MLB Network, was drafted by the Marlins in 1994 and inked to a then-record $1.6 million signing bonus with the stipulation that he not play football.

As it turns out, when he decided to leave baseball and pursue football in 1999, the Marlins put him on the restricted list, so he is still technically their property.

"When we did the show and I knew I was coming here, in the back of my mind I thought there might be a chance that I'm still a Marlin," Booty said. "But I didn't say anything because it's been 15 years."

According to D-backs team president and CEO Derrick Hall, Arizona and the Marlins have discussed the situation.

"It's not a big deal," Hall said. "When he retired, he was on their restricted list. The Marlins are OK. They said go ahead and use him how you want in the spring. Their concern is if he's Major League material, they either have the right to him or the right to a trade. That's OK, we'll cross that path when we need to."

Booty faced five batters and allowed one hit in an intrasquad game on Tuesday. There's no rush to decide on Booty's future at the moment, because he's still very much a work in progress.

"I think it's going to take me several months to get in the groove," Booty said. "I'm happy with what's going on. My arm strength is coming back."

If Booty shows enough potential this spring, the D-backs may have him pitch in the Minor Leagues.

"I think that's fine," Hall said. "The Marlins don't mind that."

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