Dan Uggla Rumors

East Notes: Phillies, Lawrie, Fox, Uggla

Some items from the eastern divisions….

  • "You will not see a major move this year," Phillies GM Ruben Amaro tells Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com about his team's trade deadline plans.  Amaro feels the Phils are already good enough to compete and it's just a matter of the club finding its peak form.  He also notes that the team has very little payroll flexibility, but "for $170 MM-plus, we should be good enough to be a World Series contender.”
  • Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie will be out for two-to-four weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his left hand, tweets Rogers Sportsnet's Arash Madani.  Lawrie was tentatively scheduled to make his Major League debut last week before being hit by a pitch in a Triple-A game.
  • Jake Fox was put on waivers by the Orioles earlier today and he might get some attention from the Pirates.  Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes that the Pirates had some interest in Fox during Spring Training, and the Bucs might have need for a catcher since Chris Snyder left today's game with a back injury.  (Twitter link)
  • The Dan Uggla trade hasn't panned out well for either the Braves or the Marlins thus far, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.

Quick Hits: Hill, Uggla, Rockies

The Royals announced that former pitcher and broadcaster Paul Splittorff died from complications from melanoma this morning at the age of 64. Splittorff is the all-time winningest pitcher in franchise history and we pass along our condolences to his friends and family. Here are links for Wednesday night…

  • Red Sox lefty Rich Hill tells Alex Speier of WEEI.com that it’s especially thrilling to be succeeding in Boston, since he grew up in nearby Milton and cheered for the Red Sox growing up.  Hill has yet to allow an earned run in 7 innings this year and he has a 10K/2BB ratio.
  • Dan Uggla told Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he feels some pressure associated with his new multiyear extension. The 31-year-old has a .185/.256/.344 line with seven homers since signing a $62MM deal with the Braves this offseason. 
  • The Rockies are not looking to make trades right now, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).

Quick Hits: Putz, Castillo, Varitek, Pirates, Ortiz

Links for Saturday evening..

Braves Extend Dan Uggla

The Braves and Dan Uggla have agreed to a five-year contract extension, the team has officially announced.

The deal is worth $62MM, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution tweets that the salary in the first year of the deal is $9MM, plus a $1MM signing bonus. The salaries then even out to $13MM annually over the four remaining years. It's the highest average annual salary for a second baseman in baseball history. Uggla is represented by Terry Bross. 

Atlanta acquired the 30-year-old Uggla (31 in March) from the Marlins in exchange for Omar Infante and Michael Dunn soon after he turned down a four-year, $48MM extension offer. The new contract covers his final year of arbitration eligibility and four free agent years. Uggla earned $7.8MM in 2010.

Despite being a middle infielder, Uggla is one of the game's most consistent sluggers. He's hit between 31 and 33 homers in each of the last four seasons, making him just one of nine players to go deep 30 times every year since 2007. A career .263/.349/.488 hitter, Uggla enjoyed his finest season in 2010 thanks to a .287/.369/.508 batting line with career highs in homers (33) and RBI (105). UZR rates his defense as consistently below average.

According to MLBTR's Transaction Tracker, this is the largest contract the Braves have given out since signing Andruw Jones to a six-year, $75MM deal way back in 2001. Only four players – Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Jayson WerthTroy Tulowitzki – have signed for more guaranteed money this offseason. Carlos Gonzalez figures to join that group shortly. The two sides were reportedly close to a deal last month

NL East Notes: Uggla, Mets, Nationals, Marrero

Here are a few items from what's been arguably the most newsworthy division of the winter thus far…

Cafardo’s Latest: Uggla, Pavano, Matsuzaka, Ellsbury

In today's column, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe asked ten baseball people to select the ten most significant moves/non-moves of the offseason. Unsurprisingly, Adrian Gonzalez, Zack Greinke, Carl Crawford, and Cliff Lee topped the list. Here are the rest of Cafardo's rumors…

  • Talks between the Braves and Dan Uggla have slowed because he's seeking more money, but an extension should get done during the first week of January. Cafardo reported that the two sides were close to a five-year deal worth $60-61MM about two weeks ago.
  • The Orioles still have interest in Kevin Gregg and the Red Sox still have interest in Brian Fuentes, but other free agent relievers like Rafael Soriano, Grant Balfour, Octavio Dotel, Aaron Heilman, Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima and Jon Rauch remain in limbo.
  • Carl Pavano is holding out for three years, with the Nationals, Twins, and Rangers still showing interest. Cafardo adds the Mariners to the mix, with the caveat that they free up some money first.
  • The teams considering Pavano could also turn to Joe Blanton, who would certainly come cheaper.
  • The Red Sox "haven’t heard anything close to the value they would need in return" for Daisuke Matsuzaka.
  • The Angels and several other teams made a run at Jacoby Ellsbury this offseason, but the Sox "never heard any offer resembling proper value."
  • Cafardo wonders if Adrian Beltre is looking at a much smaller payday than originally anticipated. Last we heard, the Angels pulled their five-year, $70MM offer to the third baseman, but they remain in the mix to sign him.
  • David Aardsma is still trade bait and the Mariners wouldn't mind moving him for starting pitching depth. Earlier this week we heard Seattle wanted an impact bat for its closer.

Braves Notes: Payroll, Greinke, Uggla, Chipper

Braves GM Frank Wren told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he has noticed a “re-emphasis on speed” in baseball over the past five or six years. Wren said he’d like the Braves to transition into a more athletic club, but that’s far from the only interesting comment he made. Here’s the latest:

  • Wren says the Braves have “an ample payroll to win” without question. The Mets and Phillies may spend more, but teams like the Rays win with less.
  • The Braves discussed trading for Zack Greinke, but decided against it. “We talked about it,” Wren said. “I just think it was going to be cost-prohibitive for us, because some of those players it would have taken to make that deal are players we’re going to be counting on in the next year or two, and we think they’re going to be premium talents at the major league level.”
  • Generally speaking, Wren said he is hesitant to trade “productive, game-changing” young players who could have a “huge major league impact in the future.”
  • There have not been setbacks between the Braves and Dan Uggla as they discuss an extension. O’Brien suggests the sides will likely reach a five-year deal this offseason.
  • Chipper Jones explained to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that his pre-season workouts have been coming along slowly, but steadily. "I'm so out of shape, one of my neighbors caught me dry-heaving on his lawn," Jones said. "We had a nice little chuckle out of it. I grabbed his phone to make sure he didn't take any video and people would see it on YouTube."

Odds & Ends: Uggla, Soria, Romero, LaRoche

Fallout from the Zack Greinke deal continues to dominate the baseball landscape. We have more on that and some other items of note, too…

  • Dan Uggla and the Braves are still hammering out a contract extension, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta GM Frank Wren said the progress between the sides has been steady and there have been no setbacks, but nothing's imminent, according to O'Brien. We heard last week that the Braves remain optimistic about extending Uggla, who is entering his final year of arbitration eligibility.
  • The teams that inquired with the Royals about Zack Greinke were told that Joakim Soria will not be traded, tweets Jack Curry of the YES Network. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier today that the Royals don't intend to move their closer. Soria, who will turn 27 in May, is considered one of the best young stoppers in the game and is signed to team-favorable terms through 2014, his age-30 season. Perhaps the combination of Soria's age and fair contract have persuaded the Royals to see that he's with Kansas City while its highly touted wave of young talent trickles into the bigs.
  • Free-agent reliever J.C. Romero hopes that Dennys Reyes' failed physical might facilitate his own return to Philly, writes Randy Miller of the Bucks County Courier Times. The 34-year-old Romero, who spent the past three-plus seasons with the Phillies after they acquired him in a midseason deal in 2007, said he'd "definitely" like to return, just as Cliff Lee did.
  • The Orioles' first choice to fill their vacancy at first base remains free agent Adam LaRoche, writes Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com. Baltimore and LaRoche have been "heavily involved" in talks, and LaRoche is "waiting for a few things" before deciding on a team. The Nationals and Padres are also pursuing him.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports noted some leftover tidbits from the Greinke deal, and here are a few of the highlights: The Yankees made a strong push for Greinke in July 2010, but the pitcher didn't want to leave the Royals then. The Royals liked a package of prospects the Blue Jays offered for Greinke, but he didn't want to play for Toronto. One rival executive said the Brewers' acquisition of Yuniesky Betancourt with Greinke "nullifies" the benefits of adding the ace.
  • Greinke was readying for an offseason move late in the 2010 season, going so far as to shelve his toxic but arm-taxing slider, writes Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports.

Braves Remain Optimistic About Extending Uggla

2:46pm: The Braves have had positive dialogue with Uggla and remain optimistic about extending him, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter).

1:11pm: The Braves are closing in on a five-year extension worth $60-61MM with Dan Uggla, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (on Twitter). Braves GM Frank Wren and agent Terry Bross were planning to discuss an extension earlier in the month. Uggla rejected a four-year, $48MM deal from the Marlins before the Braves acquired him in a November trade.

Uggla, 30, earned $7.8MM last year and would likely have earned over $10MM if he had gone to arbitration this winter. A five-year deal would buy out Uggla's last remaining season of arbitration plus four free agent years. The reported deal appears to value Uggla's four free agent seasons at $12.5MM each.

Uggla batted .287/.369/.508 with 33 homers last year. He won his first Silver Slugger and reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth consecutive season.

Possible Extensions For Pujols, Uggla, Cahill

TUESDAY, 7:39pm: Braves GM Frank Wren and agent Terry Bross will discuss an Uggla extension soon, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wren says he would like to sign Uggla to an extension and is optimistic about reaching one.

MONDAY, 8:43pm: The Cardinals, Braves and Athletics have interest in locking up star players to multiyear extensions. Cardinals GM John Mozeliak met with the representatives for Albert Pujols today, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter).

The Marlins traded Dan Uggla to Atlanta partly because extension talks with the second baseman stalled, but the Braves are now making progress on a possible extension, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link). Uggla, who turned down a four-year, $48MM  offer from the Marlins this fall, will likely earn about $10MM in 2011.

The A's are exploring a possible multiyear deal with Trevor Cahill, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter). The 22-year-old is under team control through 2014. It wouldn't be the first time GM Billy Beane has locked up a young starter, as Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Rich Harden, Dan Haren and Brett Anderson will attest.