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.
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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.
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.