Ken Rosenthal ponders some possibilities for the Atlanta Braves, who are in the market for a corner outfielder.
First up: Dan Uggla, who could maybe be converted from second base.
Rosenthal says the Braves and Marlins have discussed it, that Atlanta’s
interest is only “mild,” and notes the difficulty involved with making
Uggla a left fielder. As in, he doesn’t want to be one.
Rosenthal suggests that the Braves could bring him in as a second
baseman and hope that Uggla realizes during spring training that he’s
not as good at second as Martin Prado is. That would work if (a) Bobby
Cox had a second’s patience for that kind of nonsense, which he
doesn’t; (b) Cox doesn’t worship the ground Martin Prado walks on,
which he does; and (c) Dan Uggla was unlike almost every other player
in baseball history and really and truly wanted to be moved off of the
position at which he broke into the bigs. Rosenthal, essentially
acknowledging the problems here, says that the Braves could ask
permission to talk to Uggla about a move before doing a deal.
going to hold my breath. The Braves have
gone down the convert-an-infielder-to-left path before with both
Chipper Jones and Kelly Johnson. Neither Cox nor the players involved
liked that very much, so I don’t see them doing it for Dan Uggla, who
is a less-athletic version of both Jones and Johnson.
Outside of Uggla, Rosenthal wonders about Atlanta signing Johnny Damon or trading for Nick Swisher.
I could see Damon working if and only if he is in full
winter-2008-Bobby-Abreu mode as spring approaches and is willing to do
a one-year, sub-$10 million deal. And actually, the Braves would think
anything north of $6 million would be high. Ultimately, while I think
that Damon has kind of screwed himself this offseason, I don’t think
he’ll end up being that desperate.
Swisher makes far less sense, in that I can’t see the Yankees taking
Derek Lowe for him, and Lowe is about the only player the Braves have
talked about shopping this year. Maybe they’d shop Javier Vazquez, but
the Yankees have been there and done that and probably don’t want him
back. New York seems far more inclined to look at guys like Justin
Duchscherer and Ben Sheets than they are to take on a guy owed $45
million bucks over the next three years, and they’re wise to be so
So it’s all fun talk — the stuff the hot stove is made of, even — but
I’d be pretty surprised if we see any of these guys wearing the
tomahawk next season.