The Marlins broke off contract talks with Dan Uggla and are now gauging potential trade interest in their second baseman according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. A source says the team is not confident they can sign Uggla long-term after he rejected a four-year contract that would have paid him $48MM.
Frisaro says the team has been "initiating and field calls" about the 30-year-old Uggla, and two unidentified National League clubs have expressed interest in addition to the Tigers. He adds that the Marlins have been asking for relief pitching return, and they're expected to have more discussions about Uggla at next week's General Manager Meetings. In his middle infielder buyer's guide at ESPN (Insider req'd), Keith Law said he'd "love to trade for one year of Uggla, especially a walk year, but I don't want to be on the hook for his age 34 or 35 seasons, by which point his defense will probably have moved him off second base."
Uggla is arbitration eligible for the final time this offseason, and will become a free agent after the 2011 season. He is likely to see his salary climb past $10MM after earning $7.8MM this year. Uggla is a .263/.349/.488 career hitter, clubbing no fewer than 27 homers in each of his five seasons as a big leaguer. He is one of just nine players to eclipse the 30-homer plateau in each of the last four years.