Talks between the Marlins and second baseman Dan Uggla about a contract extension are in the "preliminary" stages according to Uggla's agent Terry Bross (as reported by MLB.com's Joe Frisaro) but it appears as if Florida wants to keep its all-time home run leader in the fold. A three-year deal appears to be the target of these negotiations; such a contract would cover Uggla's final year of arbitration and his first two free agency seasons. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported last weekend that the Marlins were looking for a deal with Uggla worth around $30MM over three years, but "the sides are far apart" on the dollar figure.
We first heard of these extension talks amidst the Uggla rumors that cropped up before the trade deadline. Florida was heavily shopping Uggla last winter but now apparently see him as one of the core players that the traditionally thrifty franchise is comfortable with offering a longer-term deal, as they did Josh Johnson last January.
Uggla has certainly done enough on the field to merit a contract — the .284/.372/.520 slash line that he carries into Friday's play represents career bests in all three categories for the 30-year-old. Uggla is no wizard defensively (a -4.7 UZR/150 this season) so if the Marlins do lock him up through 2013, they might consider a position switch down the road. Uggla and the Marlins avoided salary arbitration last winter when the second baseman agreed to a $7.8MM contract for 2010.