The four-year marriage between the Atlanta Braves and second baseman Dan Uggla has been on a rocky decline seemingly since the day they acquired him from the Miami Marlins. That decline finally hit rock bottom on Friday.
According to reports from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, and later confirmed by the Braves through their own Twitter release, Atlanta has formerly released Uggla.
Sources: #Braves cutting ties with Uggla.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 18, 2014
The Braves have released 2B Dan Uggla. A corresponding roster move will be made prior to tonight’s game. — Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 18, 2014
The acquisition of Uggla prior to the 2011 season, in a deal that sent Omar Infante and reliever Mike Dunn to the Marlins, has seemingly been an expensive one for the Braves. It isn’t going to get any lighter now that they’ve released him either, as Atlanta still owes Uggla $5 million for the remainder of this season and another $13 million for the 2015 season according to Rosenthal.
So with Uggla now on the scrap heap, will Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos try to reclaim what is left of the former slugger?
With the Braves on the hook for the next two seasons, Uggla can ostensibly sign a deal with an team at the league minimum, potentially making him a low-cost risk to take. Given the Blue Jays desires to take risks and do so at low costs, Uggla may be a worthwhile chance.
However, there is also the question of whether or not he could help the team.
It’s been four years since Uggla put up a batting average worth writing home about, and despite his power potential, his last two seasons almost make J.P. Arencibia‘s 2013 season stomach-able. Just look at his decline and ask if he really represents an upgrade.
|162 Game Avg.||162||681||95||143||30||30||88||77||165||.244||.337||.452||.789|
Those last two seasons, in which Uggla put together a combined -0.2 WAR and is contributing a wRC+ of 35 this season should be enough to scare anyone off, including the Blue Jays. If that isn’t enough, let’s consider his left/right splits from 2014 and for his career.
That’s right, Dan Uggla hits 20 points and slugs nearly 50 points lower against opposite-hand pitching. Considering the Blue Jays struggles with southpaws, adding in another bat that can’t hit them and strikes out way too often just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
So, while I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Blue Jays consider Uggla as a revitalization project, I also cannot find a way to justify the addition either. He may offer a bit more pop, but the Munenori Kawasaki has been holding his own offensive of late and plays much better defense than Uggla as well.
Adding Dan Uggla would just be an ugly move.