Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins have “initiated” talks toward a contract extension with second baseman Dan Uggla.
Sadly, it doesn’t mean much. Jackson says that the Fish are only willing to fork over about $30 million on a three-year pact, which is far less than what Uggla and his agent are seeking in both years and total cash.
The 30-year-old second baseman hit a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of Saturday’s 5-4 extra-innings victory over the Cardinals. In fact, he’s hit at least 30 home runs in each of the last three seasons and is cruising right toward that number this year with 25 dingers through 403 at-bats.
While not great, Uggla isn’t as awful defensively as some people think and he consistently posts strong power numbers at a position where such things are scarce. He has one more year of salary arbitration, but then it sounds like he might need to head elsewhere. There will be no shortage of interest if he does reach the free agent market.
Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, the team crowned ace Justin Verlander the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.
“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”
Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.
The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.