Dan Uggla

The Marlins trade Dan Uggla to the Braves

19 Comments

UPDATE: The trade is a done deal: Dan Uggla to the Braves for Omar Infante and Mike Dunn.  Really not much of a haul for the Marlins given what Uggla brings to the table. And while, sure, Uggla has some defensive issues and is only under team control for one year, this is not a bad price to pay for the Braves for a player who (a) significantly upgrades the team’s offense; and (b) will give the team much comfort if Chipper Jones is unable to come back from his knee injury.  If he does come back, Uggla will likely stick at second, Jones at third, and Martin Prado will play left field and spend some time at first base spelling (or carrying) rookie first baseman Freddie Freeman.

5:21 P.M.: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Braves and Marlins are in conversations about a trade in which Dan Uggla would go to Atlanta in exchange for Omar “All-Star” Infante and reliever Mike Dunn.

My gut reaction from the Braves’ point of view: I like it. Yes, Infante was really nice last year — he hit .321/.359./416 — and yes, he provides a great deal of flexibility given the fragility of Chipper Jones. But really: he’s not envisioned as an everyday player for the Braves in 2011, last year was his top end, and Dan Uggla puts baseballs in the bleachers, and the Braves could sorely use that.

The one question is where Uggla plays, because, at present, Martin Prado is the second baseman and Chipper Jones is trying to come back at third. Jones’ comeback is by no means assured, of course, and if he falters Uggla can play second and Prado third.  If Jones does come back, it’s possible that either Uggla or Prado could take a crack at left field.  The point, again, is that Uggla hurts baseballs, and the Braves need more guys who do that, no matter where they play.

From the Marlins point of view, Infante could replace Uggla as the everyday second baseman and perform just fine. They’re obviously viewing this as a salary dump, however. Mike Dunn appeared in 25 games last year and had a shiny ERA, but he walked 17 batters in 19 innings and shouldn’t be let near a high-leverage situation. He’s a total depth guy/throw-in.

It’ll be interesting to see if this thing goes down.

Orioles re-sign Michael Bourn to a minor league deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Michael Bourn #1 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a single in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Orioles have re-signed outfielder Michael Bourn to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Bourn, 34, joined the Orioles last year in a trade from the Diamondbacks on August 31. Though he compiled a meager .669 OPS with the Diamondbacks, Bourn hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with the O’s through the end of the season.

Bourn, a non-roster invitee to camp, will try to play his way onto the Orioles’ 25-man roster. If he does make the roster, Bourn will receive a $2 million salary, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports points out.

Shelby Miller is in the best mental shape of his life

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 24:  Shelby Miller #26 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller had about as bad a season as one can have. He was the headliner in the trade that sent 2015 No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson, All-Star outfielder Ender Inciarte, and highly-regarded pitching prospect Aaron Blair to the Braves. It was a trade that was pilloried at the time and continues to be pilloried to this day.

Miller didn’t do then-GM Dave Stewart any favors with his 2016 performance. He went 3-12 with a 6.15 ERA and a 70/42 K/BB ratio over 101 innings. That included a bout with mechanical failure, as he kept hitting the mound with his follow-through. He went on the disabled list. And after that, he was demoted to Triple-A. After getting fired, Stewart expressed remorse over acquiring Miller — or, more accurately, giving up Swanson to do so.

So, the 26-year-old Miller heads into 2017 without any momentum. To his credit, though, he’s going into the new season with a very positive perspective. Via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:

I’m just in a really happy place, away from the field, on the field. […]

Maybe it’s just the way I go about everything, trying to be positive in every single aspect of life. Baseball’s not perfect. I’m not perfect. I know bumps in the road are going to happen. Last year was obviously not just a bump, but a huge mountain. Right now, that’s completely behind me. I’m not worried about any of that.

I’m really ready for this year, ready to redeem myself so much.

Even pitching coach Mike Butcher sees the change in Miller’s mentality. “He’s not a different guy. But you can see there’s a presence in him. That’s what we need. Just be Shelby Miller. You don’t have to live up to anything. Just be yourself.”

Manager Torey Lovullo, too, praised Miller. “I saw a guy who had spent a lot of time taking care of his business in the weight room — he looks fantastic, in fantastic shape,” he said.

It sounds like Miller is not only in great mental shape, but great physical shape, too. Is it the “best shape of his life”? Only time can tell.