Monday, November 15, 2010

Just to Reiterate, His Name is Dan Uggla

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His name is Dan Uggla, and according to Buster Olney ... he could be the newest member of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Out of all the names the Blue Jays have been associated with so far this offseason, I have to say that Dan Uggla is the one that surprises and intrigues me the most.

I guess that's because most folks were banking that the Marlins second baseman would sign a four-year contract extension with Florida, and that would be the end of it. However, now that talks have broken off, it appears Dan Uggla will be on the move.

But is it a good idea for the Blue Jays to swoop in and try to snag him?

It's a question that comes with many working parts to consider. Firstly, if Toronto brings in Dan Uggla, does that mean Aaron Hill moves to third base, or does Uggla play first base? It feels like the Blue Jays are poised to shift Hill to third base anyway, so this would just fast forward those plans.

Or could the Blue Jays even shift Dan Uggla to the hot corner? With a void at third base and all intentions of keeping Jose Bautista in the outfield, Dan Uggla could certainly fill one of those corner infielder voids on the roster.

My instincts tell me that a player like Dan Uggla isn't going to be too keen on being traded to a new team and then being taken away from his native position and reassigned as a corner infielder.

Dan Uggla is under team control for one more season, and with another All-Star worthy season behind him, Uggla stands to make somewhere in the neighbourhood of $10 million dollars in 2011 if we're going by how his contract years have gone in the past.

Yes, this is the very same Dan Uggla who committed three errors in the 2010 All-Star Game, but it's also the same guy who has hit at least 27 homers each year in his first five seasons in the majors.

His reputation with the bat precedes his reputation with the glove, but that's just something the Blue Jays will have to accept if they do in fact attempt to get Uggla.

The bigger question though is what would the Blue Jays have to give up to get Dan Uggla? To get some feedback from the other side of the trade, I asked Michael Jong from Marlin Maniac which players he would like to see in return from the Blue Jays:
"I think the only thing the Marlins can honestly get back for Dan Uggla is assets worth about $10M in surplus value. That equates to about a Top 75-100 prospect, which matches up nicely with someone like Travis d'Arnaud.

With the catching depth the Blue Jays, they can likely afford to trade from an area of strength to acquire a big bat like Uggla's. If the Jays opt for trading one of their surplus starting pitchers, the Marlins would also be interested.

While Brett Cecil would be the most intriguing name given his left-handed status, he's likely to provide too much value for the Jays to trade away. Shaun Marcum would be a more realistic offer, but the Marlins would be less likely to take Marcum because of his arbitration status.

A left-hander like Cecil or Marc Rzepczynski along with low minors filler would be enough for the Marlins if we were being realistic. Unfortunately, I think the Marlins are valuing Dan Uggla a bit more than that."
Nobody ever wants to part with highly-touted prospects, but that's the kind of deal AA is going to have to make if he wants to land an All-Star second baseman like Dan Uggla. As Michael suggested, Travis d'Arnaud appears to be the most likely prospect to be floated in the deal.

There almost certainly would be a starting pitcher involved in the trade as well, and guys like Brett Cecil, Shaun Marcum, Marc Rzepczynski and Brad Mills are all names that could be involved in trade talks with the Florida Marlins.

One thing's for sure, if Alex Anthopoulos is seriously considering Dan Uggla at second base, it doesn't feel like a long-term solution for the Blue Jays. Maybe AA's just hoping he can parlay Uggla into a couple of Type A draft picks or he get a decent haul at the trade deadline.

Only the man behind the curtain truly knows what's going on, and maybe that call Alex Anthopoulos received before his flight to Orlando was Marlins GM Michael Hill saying "let's make a deal".

11 comments:

  1. Maybe I'm just homer but that asking price seems a little high to me.

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  2. Mattt, if I'm AA I would deal Marcum rather than Cecil for Uggla. They may have to include a prospect as well, and when you get into d'Arnaud territory, that's where it gets a little tricky.

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  3. D'Arnaud was the name I wasn't liking in that deal. Seeing as he was picked by AA something tells me he's our real
    catcher of the future. I have nothing to back that up but for some reason it just makes sense. I'd love to be wrong but I'm not sold on JPA.

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  4. Mattt, as we've seen over the years, it's never a bad thing to have too many catching prospects. That's why I'd be weary to send d'Arnaud or even JPA to Florida for Dan Uggla. Starting pitching is something they can easily part with, but I have a feeling just one arm isn't going to do it.

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  5. I'm not sure I like the look of this deal at ANY price. I mean, Uggla is a subpar defender, he's a free agent next year, will likely be expensive, and is coming over from the NL (in other words, who knows how he'll do in the AL East).

    Everything Anthopoulos does seems to point to a 1) desire to get younger, better defensively, and more athletic, and 2) desire to contend around 2013-15.

    How does Uggla make sense with all that in mind? And on top of that... they have to give up a top-75 prospect or 2?

    I just finished a post justifying the dumping of Encarnacion... Uggla seems to be cut from the same cloth as EE. He's a better hitter than EE, sure, but he's just as bad in the field. And more expensive.

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  6. Robbie, there are definitely some similarities between EE and Uggla. I'm not crazy about the price tag either, but the prospect of what he can bring to the table offensively really intrigues me. It's not a long term solution, yet if AA is gunning for making a run at it in 2011, Uggla could be a big part of that.

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  7. Marlins Maniac's asking price on Uggla is absurd. MLBTR has better things to suggest about the asking price...

    They have a whole at catcher now, how does d'Arnaud help him even if we would trade him (we wouldn't).

    JPA is on his way out of Toronto whether we like that or not. JPA will be the catcher sent to the Marlins, with a young AAA arm. That is if the trade goes through.

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  8. Rhys, it's tough to say: MLBTR is saying the Marlins want a catcher and a pitcher for Uggla. If it's a package like d'Arnaud and say R-Zep/Mills ... then I'd say go for it. I'm weary to see JPA go, just because he's so damn close to the major league level that dealing him might come back and bite the Blue Jays big time.

    Nav, all this Uggla talk could just be hearsay, but we'll see!

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  9. I never wanted anything to do with Uggla. To me he is just another version of Aaron Hill, except he walks more, hits a few more HR, strikes out a lot more, and plays TERRIBLE defense.

    I am glad he went to Atlanta. You can never have enough pitching, especially in the AL East, so moving Marcum or Rzep or Stewart or Cecil or (insert pitcher here) would have been a bad move.

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  10. Jeremy, in retrospect I'm glad the deal went through as well. Yeah, it would've been nice to see Uggla hit some dingers for the Jays, but it would've cost at lease one big league arm to get him. And Uggla's only under contract for one more year anyway.

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