Could Braves Trade Dan Uggla?

Dan Uggla Atlanta Braves Blog

Could the Braves trade Dan Uggla?

Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla has had some great moments since he came to Atlanta, but he’s also been a major enigma.  Uggla is the second highest paid Braves player behind B.J. Upton, but his production hasn’t been top ten.

Uggla has not only struggled at the plate, he is currently 20th in the major leagues in second base fielding percentage at .965, and is tied for the major league lead in second base errors with nine.

The Braves are obligated to pay Uggla on his 5-year $62 million salary through the 2015 season.  Unless they can find a trade partner to unload Uggla, Braves fans will be enjoying Dan Uggla through the 2015 season.

The Braves may be able to find a team interested in taking Uggla, if they eat a large part of his salary.  That would not be a very savory option, especially considering that Liberty Media, the Braves owner, has them on a tight budget.

A better option would be if the Braves could put together an attractive package of players that another team would covet, with Uggla being the boat anchor the Braves trade partner would have to accept, if they want to do business with Atlanta.

Or perhaps include Uggla in a deal where the trade partner obtains value, and the Braves eat a lesser part of his salary.

The Braves will most likely have Paul Maholm on the trade block after Brandon Beachy returns and is proven to be healthy.  Maholm’s contract expires after this season ends and Atlanta doesn’t want to pay the $10-12 million that Maholm will command on the free agent market.

Every team in baseball covets quality left-handed starting pitching and Maholm is a solid starter that would look good on many rotations.

The Braves have  a deep bench with players like Jordan Schafer, Gerald Laird and Reed Johnson having solid seasons.  All three players would interest many teams.  The Braves also have a deep minor league system with attractive players on all minor league levels to sweeten the pot.

Uggla does contribute power, walks and veteran leadership.  I can see a team potentially taking a flyer on him in hopes that a change of scenery and a new approach may enliven his career.

Who would play second if Uggla leaves?  Ramiro Pena and Tyler Pastornicky in a platoon, or perhaps a second baseman that arrives in the Uggla trade.

Do I think that it would be easy to trade Dan Uggla?  No, but I don’t think it would be impossible.  Frank Wren would just have to be creative to make something happen.

If Hawks GM Danny Ferry could unload a couple grossly overpaid slugs like Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams, a Dan Uggla trade is more than doable.

About Jim Hart

Jim has covered the Atlanta Braves since 2008 for local and national broadcast news organizations. He also appears regularly talking Braves baseball on WCCP-FM in Clemson, South Carolina, and the ESPN Radio affiliate, 1420 Sports in St. Augustine, Florida.

  • Bob Long

    I believe this is something that we discussed earlier in the season. While Dan may not be getting the results that the Braves desire, I’m certain that some American League team could use Uggla, if the price is right. After all, his OBP isn’t terrible and he will probably hit 20+ homers. He could have some value as a DH. Couple in the fact that we could package him with Maholm and Reed Johnson, and perhaps a minor leaguer or two, we may be able to get a serviceable relief arm in return or prospects.
    I was rooting for Dan to turn it around this year, but, alas, he is making me loose hope that he will ever live up to his contract.

    • http://atlantabullpen.com Jim Hart

      Lo and behold he homers last night. That is the thing about Uggla, when you have just about given up on him he does something good.

      I’m beginning to think a change of scenery would do him good. Maybe he needs to go to a lousy team like the Marlins where he can be a big fish in a small pond and produce with no pressure.

      • Bob Long

        I agree. He performed exceedingly well (offensively, at least) on a team with low expectations. However, since coming to Atlanta, he has been maddeningly frustrating. Some people can’t handle the pressure of a pennant bound club. It appears that Dan is one of those guys.

      • Bob Long

        Uggs hits 2 homers today! Maybe, your article motivated him?

        • http://atlantabullpen.com Jim Hart

          HA! Wish I had that much power!

  • RogerH

    Has anyone seen the numbers Tommy La Strella is putting up at Mississippi??? He would be a perfect #2 hitter with Simmons at the top and Heyward moving back to third. Do not break up the bench. We have needed a bench like this for years. Much as I would hate to lose Maholm, it seems like a Maholm/Uggla deal for ???? (what, exactly would they get…. 3B? an All Star 2B?) might make sense. We did not get much for Juan Francisco, so I am not encouraged by the ability to improve through trades. The holes could be filled soon by La Strella (2B), Salcedo (3B), and Ian Thomas (LH reliever). Uggla and BJ are still likely to catch fire after the break. This team could easily shoot the moon.

    • Bob Long

      LaStella and Salcedo will not sniff the bigs before next year at the earliest and Ian Thomas is even farher behind.

  • FEAR

    No one would would take Uggla. Unless the Braves would eat a huge amount of salary. Trading Maholm and Uggla for a bullpen arm would still be pretty stupid.

    • Bob Long

      Both the White Sox and the Astros would take Uggla. The Sox have nearly given up on Dunn and Konerko as the DH and the Astros could use a semi-productive offensive presence at DH. Both teams have little to no hope of contending for this year, or in the Astros’ case, next 2-3 years. Uggla may thrive when going to a team with low expectations and little pressure.

  • mark morris

    Just send the Uptons with him and what a team Atlanta could have!

  • shamedfan

    After this year Dan will go up to 15M a year. To trade Dan you would have to eat 10M a year and he is worth more to the Braves then saving 5M a year. If you would compare him to other 2nd baseman instead of trying to make him a under achieving superstar,,you will find out that Uggla is a great choice to have at 2nd base.

    • http://atlantabullpen.com/ Jim Hart

      The Braves have always been a pitching and defense first team. You think Dan is a good fielder?

      • shamedfan

        Maybe the new contacts will help him