Would you pay $60 million to keep Uggla? The Braves might

New manager Fredi Gonzalez asks Dan Uggla for a loan. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

New manager Fredi Gonzalez asks Dan Uggla for a loan. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Dan Uggla brings a reliable bat to a team lacking reliable bats. But he’s a lousy fielder — the 2010 Braves weren’t very good at catching the ball, either — and he turns 31 in March. So now I ask: Is this the guy you want to re-up for $60 million over five seasons?

Nick Cafardo, the fine baseball writer for the Boston Globe, just Tweeted that “Atlanta sources tell me Dan Uggla closing in on a five-year, $60-$61 million extension.” If this is true, I say …

That’s almost Chipper Jones money. For a guy who demonstrably isn’t Chipper Jones.

You can argue that Uggla is a better hitter at 30 than Chipper is at 38 — and Uggla isn’t coming off knee surgery — but still: Twelve million a year for a guy who has driven in 100 runs once in his career and who has never hit .300 and who’s surely going to have to find a new position soon? That’s a lot of money.

If you’re a fan, you wouldn’t mind such an outlay. If you’re a fan, you’re tired of the one-and-dones — J.D. Drew, Mark Teixeira — breezing through town en route to a massive contract elsewhere. And you’d hate to have given away the All-Stat utilitarian Omar Infante and the live young arm of Mike Dunn for another rental. (And besides, it isn’t your money. It’s Liberty Media’s.)

Me, I’m not sure Uggla is a cornerstone player. I think he’s good man to have on a team, but I don’t see him as a man capable of carrying said team. On the one hand, it’d be nice to see the Braves willing to invest so much money again. On the other, I’m not certain this is the man in whom so much should be invested.

You are, as ever, free to disagree. And I know you will.

By Mark Bradley

241 comments Add your comment

rawdawg

December 16th, 2010
4:16 pm

Ted M

December 16th, 2010
4:18 pm

Is 4 yrs possible? …I’d do that for sure

Mark Bradley

December 16th, 2010
4:18 pm

I almost wrote: If rawdawg is first again — for the fifth time in four days — we might as well retire the trophy. Except that we don’t have a trophy.

So let’s settle on yet another round of kudos.

Ted M

December 16th, 2010
4:20 pm

Mark,

When next do you cover Jackets BB? I feel the need to _itch about Hewitt.

J.J.M.

December 16th, 2010
4:21 pm

Why cant they let him earn a new contract? I would let the season play out first before making a move like that.

Jay W

December 16th, 2010
4:22 pm

Uggla’s definitely worth it in the short term — we’ll need a great right handed bat to go up against Cliff Lee four or five times a year. The real question, why is a reporter in Boston breaking an Atlanta baseball story? Is everybody on vacation at the AJC — other than you, of course.

Mark Bradley

December 16th, 2010
4:23 pm

I don’t know, Ted M. Not sure I have much new to offer on that front.

shawn

December 16th, 2010
4:23 pm

Mark,

I would suggest to look at Jason Werth contract cha cha….$12 Mil for Uggla is reasonable. If you want to talk about over paying for a player, it had to be Derek Low..($15 Mil)…This article does not make much sense…

Jack

December 16th, 2010
4:23 pm

Yes, The Braves need to sign him.

Einsteindawg

December 16th, 2010
4:25 pm

Hi Mark, are they Braves any closer to unloading KK? This might free up some money.

matt r

December 16th, 2010
4:25 pm

4 straight seasons of 30-HR, that is so rare in post-steroid baseball. But 5 years for a 31 yr old is risky. I have a much bigger problem with the # of yrs than with the $12M/yr

What??

December 16th, 2010
4:25 pm

I don’t think it’s really fair to compare the $14mil that Chipper makes to signing Uggla to a $12mil deal. Player salaries have gone up significantly since Chipper inked his last big deal and the Braves haven’t had a 30hr / 100 rbi guy in a long while. We really need a nice bat in the middle. Wren knows that he will probably have some additional dollars to play with once Liberty sells the Braves after this coming season. That’s why he has held onto most of the pitching prospects rather than trade them for CFs like some of the idiots on these blogs have suggested. He wants to see what the new paradigm will be with new ownership before making any massive moves.

What??

December 16th, 2010
4:26 pm

should have been “unfair to compare”

Calibre Lake Dawg

December 16th, 2010
4:27 pm

way too much money…for a guy that age…but like you said “it’s not my money”

Ted M

December 16th, 2010
4:28 pm

$60 mil for 5 yrs might actually turn out to be a bargain. Uggla does hit great at Turner Field.

It only hurts when you laugh

December 16th, 2010
4:28 pm

This bozo isn’t over-the-hill, since he was never on top of the hill.

Run the arrogant bum out of town on a rail.

Mark Bradley

December 16th, 2010
4:29 pm

If the Braves find somebody to take Kawakami off their hands, we might have to stop the presses, Einsteindawg.

Herschel Talker

December 16th, 2010
4:30 pm

MB:

While I agree that this seems like overpaying, it is nowhere near the egregious overpaying we did to Chipper on his last contract, which he is still under. That was a Derek Jeter type contract, where we were rewarding him for his prior performance, but make no mistake about it: that contract was horrible and currently hamstrings the Braves. The Uggla one, while excessive, is unfortunately more a sign of the times for a solid player.

HT

Herschel Talker

December 16th, 2010
4:31 pm

MB:

On another note, if you were GM right now, what move would you be looking to make right now? Give me something within the realm of possibility to address a weakness we will need to shore up in order to compete for the wild card.

HT

Mark Bradley

December 16th, 2010
4:32 pm

Let me think about that one, Herschel.

I guess Tulowitzki’s off the market, huh?

LawDawg

December 16th, 2010
4:35 pm

Mark – your acknowledgment of the “First” thing only perpetuates the myth that it is not for complete losers (and I guess rawdawg is now king of the people I want nothing to do with).

12 mil a year for Uggla? No chance. I can see paying him 9-10 million a season, but even that is a lot of money for a borderline three-true-outcomes type of player.

LawDawg

December 16th, 2010
4:37 pm

HT – Chipper took a hometown discount basically every year of his career and even his last contract was fairly below market considering his age and track record. He probably could have made double with the Yanks.

Keeper

December 16th, 2010
4:38 pm

Mark, tagging along with What??’s comment, not only is Chipper money not current-world money (for the la la land that is baseball economics), but even back when Larry put his name to the dotted line – does he sign Larry or Chipper? – he wasn’t getting “Chipper Jones money.” He could’ve gone to, say, the Mets for a bundle more and let Shea watch him from Shea.

Oh, and Ted M, not much point in covering the Jackets any time soon – they’ll be losing to my Spiders this weekend. Though the Bahamas sure beat Starkville!!

DDog10

December 16th, 2010
4:40 pm

I absolutely would NOT. I did not and still do not think this was a good move on the Braves part. He will make roughly 8 times what Omar made and his numbers are not good enough to justified the move. It amazes me how people get rich making moves like this.

Army Strong

December 16th, 2010
4:40 pm

You get the guy knowing the bat he brings and knowing the liability of his glove. I think 12 mill is a good price for his bat. If he was gold glove caliber with his 30hr 100rbi ability at a middle infield spot, I think he would warrant 17-20 million a year over at least 4 years.

timthebrave

December 16th, 2010
4:41 pm

How much did Liberty pay their CEO? They can afford it. Uggla would probably have over 100 rbi’s if he played for someone other than the Marlins

Mark Bradley

December 16th, 2010
4:41 pm

I really worry about Uggla’s defense. I think the memory of Game 3 of the NLDS will linger long in my mind.

epic_quibble

December 16th, 2010
4:43 pm

Uggla’s an upgrade, but he ain’t $60 mil of upgrade.
Unless I get a cut.

Herschel Talker

December 16th, 2010
4:43 pm

LawDawg:

I don’t care. He was a bum the last few years and was massively overpaid.

HT

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Bradley, Mark Bradley. Mark Bradley said: Would you pay $60 to keep Dan Uggla? According to @nickcafardo, the #Braves just might. (Not sure I would, though.) http://bit.ly/gPJJ7E [...]

LawDawg

December 16th, 2010
4:48 pm

He may have been a bum over the last two years, but he was not overpaid from the perspective of the time the contract was entered…hindsight is 20/20.

Eric

December 16th, 2010
4:48 pm

Considering the amount of money Jayson Werth got from the Nationals, Uggla is definitely worth $12 million. As soon as this deal gets done, Wren needs to focus on locking up Heyward for a while so we don’t have to pay him $15 million a year.

whocares

December 16th, 2010
4:51 pm

Wren has no clue when it comes to signing players too big money contracts. There is an old saying, that if you throw enough sh– on a wall, some of it will stick. How about the contracts and the overpaid players this idiot signed that the braves cant get rid of. Lowe for $15 million, you have go to be kidding me. And let’s not forget the next cy young winner from Japan, Kiwi——, guy won one game last year, and he is still under contract for millions. Then we have the overpaid, crybaby, Chipper Hurt Again Jones, and his $15 or 13 million, whatever it is, the braves are stuck with it, and this for a guy that can’t get out of bed without hurting or pulling something. Wren should have never resigned Jones to a long term contract with his injury prone career coming to an end, and Lowe and the Japanese wonder were just desperation signings due to the fact the Braves had lost out on 2 or 3 big time free agent pitchers. This team is stuck with an idiot for a G.M, and ownership that doesn’t know where the stadium is. Add that to the fact the G.M has committed 3/4 of the braves budget to 2 overpaid pitchers and an over the hill 3rd baseman, and you see why the Phillies are the class of the National league now.

Mitchell

December 16th, 2010
4:52 pm

If we can win the World Series once in the next six years and his only contribution to said championship is that he doesn’t make a costly, Conradesque error, then it’s worth it.

F-105 Thunderchief

December 16th, 2010
4:53 pm

I’m just so glad he’s not another rental that it’s OK by me.

James

December 16th, 2010
4:56 pm

Yes in a heartbeat the Braves will be getting a bargain if they sign him to that deal.

Andrew in PA

December 16th, 2010
4:58 pm

Mark look at the market right now. If Uggla were a FA this year he could get 15 mill a year. I’d take Uggla making 12-13 mill a year over Lowe and his 15 mill anyday.

Walker, Texas Ranger

December 16th, 2010
4:59 pm

For a 30 HR left fielder, it’s not a bad deal. For a 2nd basemen with over 20 errors, it is overpaying.

Braves Season Ticket Holder

December 16th, 2010
4:59 pm

Would you pay 60 Cents for a full-year AJC subscription?

I wouldn’t.

Big Al

December 16th, 2010
4:59 pm

rawdawg, get a feaking life man

JSS

December 16th, 2010
5:01 pm

What’s the beef? That is a moderate salary in the new market place… The Yankees are playing ancient Derek Jeter $17 million under his new deal… The thing that needs to be asked is why this was not paid when Teixeira was there for the reupping?

Over for 2010

December 16th, 2010
5:01 pm

Lowe will be gone next season as well as KK. I think we can afford to give Uggla some of that money dont you. After all, neither will be resigned and our pitching of the future is here.

5 years is a good deal. Its time we got some real players and Chipper will be on the bench most of the year so we need Uggla.

Walker, Texas Ranger

December 16th, 2010
5:01 pm

Mitchell, I don’t think he is above making a Conradesque error.

Andrew in PA

December 16th, 2010
5:02 pm

DOB stopped breaking ATL news since his little Ken Griffey Jr accident.

Herschel Talker

December 16th, 2010
5:02 pm

LawDawg:

He was already old and decrepit. Completely predictable that he would be an injury-plagued disaster.

FIRE MARK RICHT

HT

Ted M

December 16th, 2010
5:02 pm

Uggla’s fielding % is the same as Infante’s and Prado.

I think KK is a much better pitcher then McLouth is a hitter & CF. I would eat McLouth’s contract and make KK the 5th guy

Ted M

December 16th, 2010
5:05 pm

Chipper will only start 80 games due an injury.

Ted M

December 16th, 2010
5:06 pm

HT – I’m not exactly clear on what you thing UGA should do. ha

Asheville Dawg

December 16th, 2010
5:08 pm

This makes a lot more sense then Kawakami. Also, with as little pop in the Braves line up, seems to make a lot more sense.

Christopher Chance

December 16th, 2010
5:09 pm

Chipper is “stealing money”. The Braves owe him $26 mil over the next two years. If Uggla does end up signing $60 mil spread over 5 years, it will be BARGAIN on what we’re paying Dipper, because The Dipper (his stats have dipped big time) is dipping big time without putting out (in other words, The Dipper is like a “pretty lady” who one showers with gifts ($26 mil), yet refuses(meaning he’s way past his prime) to put out).

At least Uggla is going to “put out”, not come up with excuses (injuries) why he can “put out”.