According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves will soon begin discussing a contract extension for the recently-acquired Dan Uggla.
Uggla rejected a four-year, $48 million extension from the Marlins before being traded to the Braves last month. Still, Braves general manager Frank Wren is optimistic that the two sides will be able to reach an agreement.
“The early discussions we’ve had — really just introductory discussions — have been very pleasant,” Wren said. “I think there’s a mutual desire for us to keep him long-term and for him to stay long-term. I think that’s come through loud and clear, both from Terry [Bross, Uggla’s agent] and from Dan.”
“And I think we’ve made it very clear that’s what we want to have happen. But we haven’t gone beyond that. There will be an appropriate time for that.” Wren smiled. “And hopefully you guys won’t know a thing about it till it’s over.”
Uggla, who turns 31 in March, earned $7.8 million this past season and is arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.