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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Dan Uggla signs a five-year, $62 million extension with Braves

Dan Uggla, who was acquired by the Braves in a trade with the Marlins on Nov. 19, will get an extended stay in Atlanta. The Braves signed the second baseman to a five-year, $62 million extension on Tuesday, pending a physical.

Uggla, who had one year remaining on his contract, turned down a four-year, $48 million deal earlier from the Marlins. He was seeking a five-year deal.

“If somebody wants to give him five years, good luck to them,” Florida owner Jeffrey Loria said during the November’s General Managers Meetings. “He’s 31 years old.”

The All-Star got his wish.

Uggla, who will be 31 on March 11, had a career-year in 2010. He finished with career-highs in batting average (.287), homers (33) and RBIs (105).

Thanks to Not-So-Handsome Dick.

Repoz Posted: January 05, 2011 at 11:37 AM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, business

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   1. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 05, 2011 at 01:09 PM (#3723788)
A five year - extension - to a guy who is already 31 and can't play any defense. Another Frank Wren gem, what's not to like?
   2. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 05, 2011 at 02:08 PM (#3723792)
Things of interest about Uggla (well, to me anyway):

--plays all the time (that has value)
--pretty darn consistent (that has value)
--OBP creeping up with strikeouts down just a tad over time
--hit the same at home/road (this surprised me, I thought that ballpark would hurt DU)
--loves hitting in May
--hit more homers against the Braves than any other opponent (I wonder if that influenced Braves front office?)
--loves hitting in Turner field (see previous question)
--Double play totals have gone down quite a bit relative to his first two years in the league despite playing more innings
   3. Gamingboy Posted: January 05, 2011 at 02:27 PM (#3723803)
Problem with Uggla: everytime I think of him I think immediately of the ASG at Yankee Stadium.
   4. Accent Shallow Posted: January 05, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3723804)
“If somebody wants to give him five years, good luck to them,” Florida owner Jeffrey Loria said during the November’s General Managers Meetings. “He’s 31 years old.”

I have trouble properly expressing my disdain for Jeff Loria. I can't believe these clownshoes are allowed to own a team.
   5. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: January 05, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3723805)
Things of interest about Uggla (to Vin Scully, anyway):

--Uggla means "owl" in Swedish
   6. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 05, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#3723811)
I have trouble properly expressing my disdain for Jeff Loria. I can't believe these clownshoes are allowed to own a team.

Not only is Jeff Loria allowed to own a team, but the league bent over backwards to make sure he could own a team. The other owners liked what he did in Montreal so much that they gave him a $38 million, zero-interest loan so that he could buy the Marlins from John Henry in 2002.
   7. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 05, 2011 at 02:55 PM (#3723813)
As with any extension to a star in his early 30s, you can critique the trailing years and worry about performance as he ages, but are we still seriously in the "bash Frank Wren" frame of mind? Because that would be stupid.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 05, 2011 at 03:16 PM (#3723827)
Uggla spelled backwards is Alggu.
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: January 05, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#3723844)
the Jeff Loria quote is one reason to hope this signing works out.
   10. Metman died today. Or yesterday maybe, Posted: January 05, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3723863)
1.) Release Kelly Johnson
2.) Overpay for Uggla
3.) ????
4.) Profit!!
   11. Honkie Kong Posted: January 05, 2011 at 04:23 PM (#3723893)
I am a fan of Frank Wren in terms of his major league moves, but I would guess that if you ask him now, he will agree this is an overpay.

But its the price you pay for not developing well. The Braves have developed no RH power hitter in ages, and there is no help on the horizon. The last RH hitter with any power to come out of the system was Marcus Giles ( and he is a roid suspect ). Before him, Dye. I don't know if its fluky, or its a blind spot in their development system.
Bring back Don Baylor!!!

Also, once Freeman is promoted, this system is barren when it comes to hitting. Heck, Astros might have more hitting prospects than the Braves.
   12. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 05, 2011 at 04:37 PM (#3723906)
1.) Release Kelly Johnson
2.) Overpay for Uggla
3.) ????
4.) Profit!!


Why would you want a Johnson-Esco combo when you could have the veterany goodness of Uggla-Agony at five times the price?

but are we still seriously in the "bash Frank Wren" frame of mind? Because that would be stupid.

He makes it real easy.
   13. billyshears Posted: January 05, 2011 at 04:42 PM (#3723914)
I have a feeling that when Uggla starts to slip, it's going to come fast. Second Basemen tend to decline earlier than other positions and Uggla already gets most of his value from old players skills.
   14. regfairfield Posted: January 05, 2011 at 04:45 PM (#3723917)
You can't say a system that churned out Heyward and Hanson is "not developing well"
   15. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 05, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#3723921)
Well, Kelly Johnson kerfluffle notwithstanding, you'll get two more very good years and another good year (likely to somewhat optimistic). After that you might be stuck with a middling OBP immobile LF or some such. But the Braves are legit contenders now and flags fly forever.
   16. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 05, 2011 at 04:49 PM (#3723922)
Kelly Johnson isn't as good as Dan Uggla. Kelly Johnson's 2010 is completely built around hitting in the BOB.

Yunel Escobar may get his head screwed on straight and be something better than Alex Gonzalez next year. The Braves didn't want to take that risk in Bobby Cox' last season.

######## about Frank Wren is a stupid pursuit.
   17. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 05, 2011 at 04:53 PM (#3723926)
You can't say a system that churned out Heyward and Hanson is "not developing well"


Apparently turning out the best OF prospect in years doesn't count because he's not right handed. Seriously WTF, guys. Frank Wren and the Braves are going to field a team that is competitive (though not favored) against a Phillies squad that is out-spending their budget by $40-50 million, and you want to whinge about Kelly Johnson? Whatever.
   18. John DiFool2 Posted: January 05, 2011 at 05:05 PM (#3723942)
Uggla spelled backwards is Alggu.


That's even Ugglier.
   19. Honkie Kong Posted: January 05, 2011 at 05:20 PM (#3723957)
Apparently turning out the best OF prospect in years doesn't count because he's not right handed. Seriously WTF, guys. Frank Wren and the Braves are going to field a team that is competitive (though not favored) against a Phillies squad that is out-spending their budget by $40-50 million, and you want to whinge about Kelly Johnson? Whatever.

You can't say a system that churned out Heyward and Hanson is "not developing well"

I qualified my statement about not "developing well". Prospects are a lottery, but to produce only 2 RH power hitters in 15 years might be more than a fluke is what I am suggesting.
And people fall in love with prospects too much. There is no use developing 10 pitching prospects, if you are not going to trade them and fill holes in your system. And when you have a gaping hole ( which has been there ever since Andruw left ), and you have no way of filling it, you end up overpaying for the likes of Uggla.
   20. John M. Perkins Posted: January 05, 2011 at 05:33 PM (#3723980)
Talking Chop noted that Uggla's ugly defense is a function of Sun Life. Uggla's an above average fielder on the road.
   21. Honkie Kong Posted: January 05, 2011 at 05:38 PM (#3723985)
Talking Chop noted that Uggla's ugly defense is a function of Sun Life. Uggla's an above average fielder on the road.

home/road splits for defence?! For a already fuzzy system, that might be taking it too far. I would think it is more noise than any data with predictive powers.
   22. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: January 05, 2011 at 05:38 PM (#3723986)
Hopefully, the Braves will have new ownership by the time this contract comes back to bite them.
   23. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 05, 2011 at 05:42 PM (#3723990)
And people fall in love with prospects too much. There is no use developing 10 pitching prospects, if you are not going to trade them and fill holes in your system. And when you have a gaping hole ( which has been there ever since Andruw left ), and you have no way of filling it, you end up overpaying for the likes of Uggla.


Says the guy with the Teheran-based internet handle?

I'm all for trading prospects from areas of strength (pitching) to fill areas of weakness. For example, I was a big fan of trading a backup middle infielder and LH relief prospect for Dan Uggla. That dealt from strength (arms in the pen) and filled a need (RH power.) Then the went and locked up the RH power through his productive years so they can concentrate on other areas of need in the coming years (as Chipper and Lowe come off the books.)

Acquiring and extending Uggla is in fact an example of the type of behavior you say you want to see. They couldn't produce a RH power bat, so they produced a LH superstar in RF and traded spare parts to fill the need for a RH bat. On a budget. That's excellent work by the GM.
   24. Ziggy Posted: January 05, 2011 at 06:08 PM (#3724013)
Yeah, this seems okay to me. The strategy we always favor is developing good young (and so inexpensive) players, and then signing free agents (/extending older players) to fill holes. That's exactly what the Braves are doing. 13/yr is what Bronson Arroyo got in an extension - extending Uggla for the same amount is no big deal. Prado players 3rd, I assume?

Also, developing 10 starting pitchers is a great idea (re: 19) if you can manage it. Pitchers (esp. young ones) flame out all the time. I'm certainly not going to bet that all of Hanson, Minor, Teheran, Beachy, Vizcaino, Jurrjens and Delgado are going to be or remain useful major leaguers. Now, trading from that position of strength isn't a *bad* idea, but if they end up keeping them all, that's okay too. That kind of pitching depth is what dreams are made of.
   25. Mike A Posted: January 05, 2011 at 06:17 PM (#3724025)
Compared to other contracts this offseason, this is a fair deal. I'm not a huge fan of giving 30-something middle IFs a long-term deal, but on the positive side Uggla does keep himself in excellent shape and is a decent bet to age well.

As for Wren, he's built a high-80s win team with a mid-market payroll. Sure, he's made a few mistakes, but it's hard to really complain about the big picture.
   26. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 05, 2011 at 06:31 PM (#3724040)
Zig - Prado plays LF unless/until Chipper gets hurt, at which point he plays 3B.
   27. Jick Posted: January 05, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#3724084)
What's wrong with Frank Wren? The man gave us Jair Jurrjens for Edgar Renteria, Omar Infante for nothing, and Dan Uggla for Omar Infante. He got rid of Jeff Francoeur - that alone should earn him a lifetime pass.
   28. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: January 05, 2011 at 07:47 PM (#3724115)
Wren took a franchise with Chuck James as a key part of the rotation and built it into a 90-win playoff team with an impressive young core. I'll criticize any specific move I don't like, but I find it impossible to look at his full tenure and say it's been anything other than a success.

As for the Uggla extension, I'm not out-of-my-mind thrilled, but this is essentially a four-year extension (the Braves are bumping up his 2011 salary). He probably won't be very good at the end of the deal, but if the Braves can get two Uggla seasons, one roughly average-ish season and a crummy season out of this, it'll be a success.
   29. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: January 05, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#3724127)
What's wrong with Frank Wren? The man gave us Jair Jurrjens for Edgar Renteria, Omar Infante for nothing, and Dan Uggla for Omar Infante. He got rid of Jeff Francoeur - that alone should earn him a lifetime pass.


Exactly.

The good outweighs the bad. I can only think of two Wren moves that were downright indefensible:

1. Non-tender of KJ
2. Signing Ache Anderson

I hated the Vazquez trade at the time, but Melky was coming off an OK year(this is the only time you'll ever see me defend Melky), Javy had one year left, Dunn was used to get Uggla, and Vizcaino is a nice pitching prospect.

The Lowe/KK signings were overpays for a mid-market team, but defensible at the time given the gaping holes in the rotation. The Ankiel/Farnsworth deal was pointless, but doesn't exactly kill them even though I'd have liked to watch Tim Collins on an everyday basis.

I blame Bobby for the Escobar trade, but Yunel didn't exactly light it up in Toronto. What bugs me more about that trade was that the Rays were said to be offering Reid Brignac.
   30. Jick Posted: January 05, 2011 at 11:54 PM (#3724357)
Agreed. The problem with the Vazquez trade was the return rather than the fact that he was traded...and just about every salary dump trade over the last year has taught us that the returns are never as good as we'd expect or want them to be.

I can't really argue with the Lowe signing, either. Then (and still) I was glad to get him because it meant we weren't signing AJ Burnett.
   31. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: January 06, 2011 at 07:45 PM (#3724956)
Even the non-tender of KJ wasn't the worst thing ever. I liked KJ a lot, but he was going to make $4 million or so in arbitration, and was - at best - going to be a platoon LF with the Braves. Prado was clearly the 2B, and was cheaper. I would have preferred to keep KJ, and replace Melky in the Vazquez trade with some random minor leaguer, but really, it wasn't that big a deal.
   32. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 06, 2011 at 07:51 PM (#3724962)
Agreed. The reason the KJ release looks bad is because 1) KJ smartly signed in Arizona where he could spike his power numbers due to park effects and 2) Melky Cabrerra ate a small family of poor Venezuelan immigrants before every game.
   33. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: January 06, 2011 at 08:14 PM (#3724983)
Now Garrett Anderson, that I have no excuse for.
   34. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: January 06, 2011 at 08:23 PM (#3724996)
Oh, and as to the actual Uggla contract...

It's more than I'd like to see, but honestly, it's not out of line with the contracts this offseason. If anything, it's a bit on the low side. Hopefully he's more like Jeff Kent than Marcus Giles...
   35. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: January 06, 2011 at 08:29 PM (#3725006)
The problem with releasing KJ was they turned around and handed all the savings to Melky. That's inexcusable. Not to mention that KJ's 2009 struggles were almost entirely based on a bad wrist.

The move from KJ to Melky is a strike against Wren.
   36. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 06, 2011 at 08:31 PM (#3725008)
home/road splits for defence?! For a already fuzzy system, that might be taking it too far. I would think it is more noise than any data with predictive powers.

I can see it for outfielders, but it doesn't make a lot of sense for a second baseman.
   37. Dan Posted: January 06, 2011 at 08:36 PM (#3725014)
I can see it for outfielders, but it doesn't make a lot of sense for a second baseman.


You don't think the infield at Dolphin Stadium (or whatever they sold the naming rights to this year) plays differently from the infield in dedicated baseball stadiums?

Obviously there's a lot of noise in a sample that small, but it wouldn't be shocking if there was an underlying cause for the split. The differences in infields aren't as obvious to us as differences in outfield dimensions, but they're definitely significant.
   38. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 06, 2011 at 08:46 PM (#3725027)
Now Garrett Anderson, that I have no excuse for.


And given the last three months of Troy Glaus I have to say the "hey, let's try a washed up Angel" approach should be reconsidered in totality.
   39. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: January 06, 2011 at 09:02 PM (#3725042)
So Sam, I take it you're not in favor of signing Vlad, then?
   40. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 06, 2011 at 09:10 PM (#3725047)
You don't think the infield at Dolphin Stadium (or whatever they sold the naming rights to this year) plays differently from the infield in dedicated baseball stadiums?

Obviously there's a lot of noise in a sample that small, but it wouldn't be shocking if there was an underlying cause for the split. The differences in infields aren't as obvious to us as differences in outfield dimensions, but they're definitely significant.


I guess I assumed that MLB infields are pretty standardized, but maybe you're right and that's not true. Have any players said that the marlin's field is unusually fast or slow?
   41. zack Posted: January 06, 2011 at 09:11 PM (#3725049)
Talking Chop noted that Uggla's ugly defense is a function of Sun Life. Uggla's an above average fielder on the road.

home/road splits for defence?! For a already fuzzy system, that might be taking it too far. I would think it is more noise than any data with predictive powers.


I was very skeptical as well, but at least the same seems to hold true for other Marlins' infielders over the period (Ramirez, Jacobs, Sanchez, Cantu all show a decent split favoring their road games). Cantu in particular shows a serious away split at 1B and 3B, and a home split at 2B. Which fits, because 80% of his 1B and 76% of his 3B innings were as a Marlin, while all his 2B innings were as a Devil Ray.

On the A's (the only other outdoor football-baseball stadium?), Crosby, Barton and Pennington show a tiny away split, while Ellis and Chavez have a home split.

Be nice to have more data on this.
   42. Honkie Kong Posted: January 07, 2011 at 04:54 AM (#3725425)
Be nice to have more data on this.

I haven't seen Dial around for a while, but if he can comment on this it, it would be great.

Acquiring and extending Uggla is in fact an example of the type of behavior you say you want to see. They couldn't produce a RH power bat, so they produced a LH superstar in RF and traded spare parts to fill the need for a RH bat. On a budget. That's excellent work by the GM.


All good except its not Uggla's acquisition I was commenting on. I was commenting on the length of the extension, which was driven by the paucity of RH power prospects in the system.
Obtaining Uggla was excellent, the extension is ok, but not "excellent". This is because his hands are tied
   43. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2011 at 05:37 AM (#3725445)
All good except its not Uggla's acquisition I was commenting on. I was commenting on the length of the extension, which was driven by the paucity of RH power prospects in the system.


If you don't have a resource in your pipeline, and you just acquired a top-shelf version of that resource at the ML level, extending that resource is a good idea. Period.
   44. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2011 at 05:39 AM (#3725447)
So Sam, I take it you're not in favor of signing Vlad, then?


Not really, no. And Old Andruw is not on my radar either. Between Hinske, Prado and Chipper, I'm actually okay with LF/3B going into next year. If something goes wrong a couple of C-level prospects gets Matt Diaz back from Pittsburgh in short order.

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