Dan Uggla rejected a four-year, $48 million contract extension proposal from the Marlins last week. But he’s not done negotiating.
According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, the arbitration-eligible second baseman told reporters Thursday that believes a long-term deal is “reachable” and that the two sides “can close the gap” before salary arbitration proceedings get underway.
Uggla has slugged at least 30 home runs in each of the last four seasons and finished with a quality .287/.369/.508 batting line and a team-leading 105 RBI in 159 games for the Marlins this past year.
He has poor range at second base, but the Fish are aiming to be immediately competitive when they move into their new baseball-only stadium in 2012 and losing the power-hitting Uggla would mean a major blow to that plan.
If it takes a six-year contract worth closer to $60 million, the Marlins should open their purse strings.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.