Dan Uggla Rumors

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.

Odds & Ends: Nishioka, Uggla, Soriano, Wigginton

The typical Winter Meetings barrage of links…

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Uggla, Rollins, Giants, Upton

On this date 20 years ago, a 26-year-old Barry Bonds took home his first National League MVP Award thanks to a .301/.406/.565 season with the Pirates. He went on to win the award again in 1992, his final season in Pittsburgh, and then five more times with the Giants. The latter part of Bonds' career was clouded by PED allegations, but he did hit .301/.424/.566 in his final three seasons with the Pirates and .305/.438/.600 with far more unintentional walks (825) than strikeouts (685) from 1990-1998, age 26-34. Barry could have retired at that point and waltzed into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

Here's a look at the best the baseball blogosphere had to offer this week…

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What’s Next For The Marlins?

The Marlins and Tigers have been baseball's most aggressive teams so far this offseason.  The Fish made their biggest free agent signing since 2005 in John Buck, and also traded away Dan Uggla, Cameron Maybin, and Andrew Miller.  Owner Jeffrey Loria held court at the GM Meetings today, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has details.

Loria says to "stay tuned" for further activity, specifically involving the bullpen.  One source tells Rosenthal the Marlins have only about $3-4MM left to spend.  If the team is to make additional splashes, it'll have to be in the trade market.  I wouldn't be surprised to see Leo Nunez dealt, and the team could use a starting pitcher as well.  Indeed, Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel hears the Marlins are turning their attention to the rotation now.

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald has quotes from Loria on Uggla.  The Marlins' owner remarked, "Dan is a wonderful kid, but I can't speak for the advice he gets."  Uggla was dead-set on a five-year contract, but the Marlins wouldn't go past four.

Loria also commented on Hanley Ramirez, telling WEEI's Rob Bradford he expects the shortstop to retire a Marlin.

Marlins Notes: Uggla, Pavano, Prado

The Marlins wasted no time trading Dan Uggla this offseason, sending him to Atlanta for Omar Infante and Mike Dunn on Tuesday. The move came less than a week after the team broke off extension talks with their All Star second baseman due to a gap in negotiations.

Let's round up the latest Marlins' news in the wake of the trade…

Odds & Ends: Westbrook, De La Rosa, Papelbon

Links on a busy Tuesday as the first day of the GM Meetings wraps up…

Braves Acquire Dan Uggla

The Braves landed one of baseball's most powerful second basemen today, acquiring Dan Uggla from the division rival Marlins for utility man Omar Infante and lefty reliever Mike Dunn

Uggla, 31 in March, had another fine season in 2010 with a .287/.369/.508 line in 674 plate appearances.  Uggla is one season away from free agency, and extension talks with the Marlins broke off after he rejected a four-year, $48MM offer.  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports feels that the Braves will attempt to sign him long-term.  Martin Prado will step in at third base as Chipper Jones recovers from knee surgery or log innings in left field if necessary, tweets Rosenthal.  Uggla should be happy to remain at second base.

Infante, a super-utility type, hit .321/.359/.416 in 506 plate appearances for the Braves this year.  He's under contract through 2011 at $2.5MM with another possible $1MM in plate appearance incentives.  The loss may put the Braves in the market for a utility player, writes MLB.com's Mark Bowman.  Dunn, 26 in May, is a hard-throwing left-handed reliever who came to Atlanta from the Yankees a year ago in the Javier Vazquez deal.  Dunn racked up big-time strikeout and walk numbers this year between Triple-A and the Majors.  The intra-division asking price for Uggla was expected to be large, but this is a disappointing return for the Marlins.  They have succeeded in revamping their bullpen for the long-term, adding Ryan Webb, Edward Mujica, Dustin Richardson, and Dunn in recent trades.

The Cardinals, Blue Jays, Nationals, and Tigers were other reported suitors for Uggla.

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick broke news of the agreement on Twitter, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and Mark Bowman of MLB.com provided updates as the story developed.