Dan Uggla Rumors
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 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."
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.
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.
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.
The typical Winter Meetings barrage of links...
- There's trade interest in newly-blocked third baseman Josh Bell, Orioles manager Buck Showalter told Yahoo's Steve Henson, though Bell can play first (Twitter link).
- Tsuyoshi Nishioka's agents are meeting with the Twins today, tweets SI's Jon Heyman. He says the Japanese infielder seeks a three-year deal.
- Dan Uggla and the Braves have talked a bit about an extension, tweets Heyman.
- The Angels have deflected trade talks about other closers because they're focused on Rafael Soriano, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
- Ty Wigginton is the Rockies' top target for a right-handed bench bat, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, and they're meeting with his agent today.
- MLB.com's Scott Merkin talked to free agent reliever Bobby Jenks, who would like to return to the White Sox if possible. Manager Ozzie Guillen told Merkin that if Jenks does return, he would not be guaranteed the closer job (Twitter link).
- Reds manager Dusty Baker told reporters, "Joey Votto told me he wants to stay. He just wasn't ready to say he wants to stay the rest of life."
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...
- We Should Be GMs celebrates Omar Vizquel, the last remaining active player from the 1980's.
- Capitol Avenue Club wonders what's next for the Braves following the Dan Uggla trade.
- Pittsburgh Lumber Co. contemplates Jorge de la Rosa.
- Meanwhile, Pine Tar And Pocket Protectors pieces together Pittsburgh's 2011 rotation.
- Baseball Analysts looks at Japanese pitchers and the hot stove.
- Crashburn Alley says that right now is a prime opportunity for the Phillies to sign Jimmy Rollins to a contract extension.
- Fenway Faithful Reports thinks that Victor Martinez is destined to sign with the Tigers.
- Splashing Pumpkins breaks down some shortstop options for the Giants.
- Baseball Time In Arlington explains the regression that the Rangers could experience.
- FanSpeak believes the Nationals should go all-in to acquire Justin Upton.
- Boston Sports Pulse provides a blueprint for the Red Sox offseason.
- Phoul Ballz looks at Matt Rizzotti, a Phillies' farmhand that will be eligible for this year's Rule 5 Draft.
- The Sports Banter finds some interesting minor league free agents.
- Cubs Billy Goat Blog lists some minor moves that could have a big impact on the Cubs.
- SPANdemonium muses about why teams have to wait a year before trading drafted players.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
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.
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...
- The Marlins repeatedly increased their contract offer to Uggla, tweets Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald, but he never backed down from five-years, $71MM. The original offer was four years and $48MM.
- Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post says (via Twitter) that the Fish had substantial trade talks with five teams about their second baseman.
- The Cardinals had interest in Uggla but balked at the Marlins' asking price of Colby Rasmus, tweets Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says (via Twitter) that the Blue Jays had the most early interest in Uggla, offering prospects RHP Josh Roenicke, RHP Danny Farquhar, and either SS Ryan Goins or OF Darin Mastroianni.
- MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez tweets that Marlins exec Larry Beinfest said the money that would have gone to Uggla will be spent elsewhere, and not coincidentally Carl Pavano is now an option for them according to Capozzi (Twitter link).
- Meanwhile, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says Florida originally asked Atlanta for Martin Prado in exchange for their second baseman, but later settled on Omar Infante.
Links on a busy Tuesday as the first day of the GM Meetings wraps up...
- Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer says (via Twitter) the Indians "kicked the tires" on Jake Westbrook, but never formally offered him a contract before he re-signed with the Cardinals.
- FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets that the market for Jorge de la Rosa won't take shape until Cliff Lee signs. He's a fallback option for several teams.
- Former Orioles reliever Dennis Sarfate is in talks to join the Hiroshima Carp according to MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Giants are currently in on just two players: Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe.
- Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer says that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro offered a lot of "no comments" when asked about the team's interest in retaining Chad Durbin.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman says (via Twitter) the trade market for Jonathan Papelbon is "very weak," but the Red Sox are willing to pay part of what will surely be a sizable 2011 salary.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman hears that the Yankees will bid at least three years to keep Derek Jeter (Twitter link). Owner Hal Steinbrenner added that "things are going well."
- Chad Jennings of The Journal News has a quote from Yanks GM Brian Cashman: “I’ve got a small player move that I’m working on that might get done at some point this week ... But it’s small.”
- Meanwhile, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Yanks are still waiting to hear whether Mariano Rivera wants a one or two-year deal.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets that the Athletics are not moving Conor Jackson, though he remains a non-tender candidate.
- Twins GM Bill Smith said it's "not at all" a question when asked if the team would tender Matt Capps a contract, according to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post (Twitter link).
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer says that Reds GM Walt Jocketty has talked to Arthur Rhodes' agent and plans to do the same with Miguel Cairo's, but he has yet to talk to any other free agents.
- SI.com's Tom Verducci lists players available on the "secondary market" that could have a big impact, starting with Jack Cust.
- Roy Halladay's Cy Young Award netted him $250K in bonus money, tweets Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The bonus was negotiated into his original contract with Toronto.
- In the wake of Justin Upton being made available, FanGraphs' Dave Cameron examines his trade value.