Sports And The City

It was 4-1.

It’s getting Uggla

with 8 comments

Every armchair general manager believes they’re the smartest cat in the room. Until Dan Uggla gets traded for Omar Infante and Mike Dunn. Then it’s the Florida Marlins who’ve lost their damn minds. Again.

The market for Uggla, at least on the friendly internet, was ridiculously over-valued. Frankly, there was no market. And I can’t understand why the trade shocked as many people as it did. Think about it: Uggla refused to sign a contract extension with Florida worth $48 million over four years. He reportedly wouldn’t budge from five years and $71 million. That’s a lot of bloody money. Wouldn’t that information, out in the open, lead you to pull a few chips off the table? Uggla’s a year away from free agency, will be 31 in March 2011, is coming off a career season, and has, in five years, shown a tendency to follow up a monster year with an above-average, but not so, well, monster-ish season.

2006: .347 wOBA, .309 BABIP

2007: .345 wOBA, .279 BABIP

2008: .372 wOBA, .320 BABIP

2009: .354 wOBA, .274 BABIP

2010: .381 wOBA, .330 BABIP

Don’t get me wrong, Uggla’s a tremendous hitter. I take nothing away from a man who’s hit more home runs as a middle infielder in his first five years in the league than anyone before him, ever. Uggla can mash. No, he can’t play defence, any defence at all, but he can hit.

In the end, the trade proved that most everyone in baseball thought acquiring Uggla was too risky. Atlanta took that risk, and good on them. I can’t say I’m upset that Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays didn’t, because I’m not. Had the Jays acquired Uggla, I don’t think he signs long-term in Toronto. And even if Uggla’s “likely Type A haul is more valuable than his 2011 contract/production,” the risk would have been in Uggla producing, which, yes, I think he would have, even in the AL East. But say he got injured. Then what?

Names like J.P. Arencibia, Brett Cecil and Shaun Marcum were being bandied about in the Toronto blogosphere. Even precious Zach Stewart! Marlins bloggers were thinking Cecil, Marcum, Marc Rzepczynski, maybe even Travis d’Arnaud. Everyone was wrong. Not by a little, by a lot. Too much risk, especially when we’re talking about guys who make little money, and are under team control. And, with respect to Marcum and Cecil, have proven their ability. I don’t believe Anthopoulos is out to create a window from which the Jays can contend. I don’t think his plan involves seizing an opportunity. It’s about building a foundation from which the Jays, with a payroll of $100 million, can consistently contend.

I don’t for a second believe that the Marlins didn’t do their due diligence. Sure, they’re run by that clown Jeffrey Loria, but they may have figured out a system by which they develop prospects, win a World Series, sell said prospects, and do it all over again. (The system is still being tested.) While Omar Infante is no Dan Uggla, he does bring some skills to the table. According to ESPN, since 2007, nobody in baseball has been better with runners in scoring position, with at least 250 plate appearances, than Infante. Yep, better than Joe Mauer, Albert Pujols, Kevin Youkilis, and Joey Votto. Obviously trading Uggla to a division rival wasn’t the optimal scenario for Florida, but you play the cards you’re dealt. Had Anthopoulos dealt Roy Halladay to the Yankees or Red Sox, as long as it was the best deal to be made, I’d have lived.

According to living legend Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays were certainly in on Uggla. Toronto “had most early interest in Uggla. Jays’ offer: RHP J. Roenicke, RHP D. Farquhar and either SS R. Goins or OF D. Mastroianni.” Considering what it took Atlanta to get the deal done, I think Anthopoulos’ offer was more than fair. It just wasn’t enough. And that’s fine. Between Uggla and Manny Ramirez, I was hoping, and still am, for Manny. All he costs is money. But the offer as it stands proves, once again, that Anthopoulos is a lot smarter than you and I.

Happy hot stoving.

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Written by Navin Vaswani

November 17th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

8 Responses to 'It’s getting Uggla'

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Navin Vaswani, Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto Blue Jays said: Sports And The City >> It’s getting Uggla [...]

  2. I’m right there with you. Everybody is down on the Marlins for this deal. I think they are mostly wrong. Their four year offer was a fair one. They were going to lose him if they didn’t sign him so at least they got some value for him. He’s a terrible defender. Those three errors in one inning in the All Star game were no fluke. The guy is just clank city.

    The other day on another Toronto blog, my thoughts that Uggla wasn’t a good deal for the Blue Jays wasn’t met kindly. It was a civil discourse, but the underpinnings were that I was an idiot. Well, heck, I just may be. True wisdom is knowing how much you don’t know, right? But I don’t think I’m wrong about Uggla. I think the Blue Jays dodged a bullet here.


    17 Nov 10 at 2:03 pm

  3. William, I cerainly wasn’t implying you are an idiot by any stretch. I don’t know how you read the convo like that. I just wondered about you downplaying his offensive production and calling him inconsistent, when the numbers don’t really support that, at least on first blush.

    I think the Marlins made a bad deal because it seems like taking the 2 picks attached to his Type-A status are a much preferable return to what they got, regardless of whether they intend on “contending” this season or not….nevermind trading within the division.

    Infante is nothing special and I believe he’s also just a year away from free agency. I know nothing about the relief arm except that he throws hard, is wild, and looks to be a LOOGY. Basically, a little help for this season, and not much beyond 2011 (assuming Infante leaves).

    the ack

    17 Nov 10 at 3:30 pm

  4. @ William: I think people are down on the Marlins because, as The Ack points out, 2 picks thanks to Uggla’s Type A status are better than Infante and Dunn. The Marlins would have been better holding on to him, and perhaps treading him before the deadline, instead of taking what they deemed was the best offer in a very weak Uggla market. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how it all plays out. And you’re no idiot; those that follow the Jays are just extremely passionate, as you’ve found out.

    @ The Ack: It’s been a weird few weeks for the Marlins, eh? I assume they’re going to give Infante every chance to play, and try to deal him at the deadline. As for Dunn, he’s young, and throws hard, and those guys always have some upside, of course. The Marlins are an interesting bunch.

    And, as I’m writing this, word drops that the Jays have acquired Rajai Davis. Speed on the basepaths! Rejoice!!!1

    Navin Vaswani

    17 Nov 10 at 4:48 pm

  5. I like Uggla but I wasn’t sure about the fit here in Toronto. He’s a good masher but is poor defensively and doesn’t get on base particularly well, nor is he a base-stealing threat (that said, as a Jay fan, I would’ve found a way to love him). I do think the Braves got a good deal acquiring him.

    Davis is a solid acquisition (though I thought he was younger). Love the speed. I guess the plan is to stick him out there until (hopefully) Gose comes around?

    The big question (other than the ‘pen of course): can Lind play 1st base? If yes, then I’m all for signing Man Ram.

    Love the new site. Ever think about having ‘regular’ message boards? So much stuff to talk about (e.g., is Bosh more hated than VC? why hasn’t somebody crushed Avery? will the raps win more than 24 games?)…

    Escaped Lab Rat

    17 Nov 10 at 7:42 pm

  6. Your favicon is now a Raptors logo???? Say it ain’t so.


    17 Nov 10 at 8:08 pm

  7. @ Escaped: Uggla would have fit in here. He hits home runs. It would have been a scary lineup. But if 2010 proved anything, it’s that home runs are not enough. Which is why I like the Davis acquisition too. I’m looking at some of his numbers, this guy is going to come in handy. Post coming. As for Lind, I wish we knew if he could play 1B, too. Cito really screwed us on that front. Totally absurd that Lind didn’t play more at 1B. As for the site, thanks for the feedback. I just don’t think I have the traffic for message boards, but I will look into what it takes to set it up. I’m always down to try new things.

    @ furcifer: The favicon rotates between Raptors, Leafs, Blue Jays, TFC and Bills logos. (Sorry Argos.)

    Navin Vaswani

    17 Nov 10 at 8:20 pm

  8. That’s the trouble with typed words, Ack. I wasn’t offended by your questioning at all. That’s what good baseball writers do. We’re cool here.


    17 Nov 10 at 8:22 pm

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