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”.