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.
Earlier this month, Yankees starter CC Sabathia jawed at the Red Sox after Eduardo Nunez laid down a bunt. Sabathia fielded it fine, but threw the ball away for an error. After the game, he called Nunez’s bunt “weak” and said the Red Sox should “swing the bat.” Sabathia, of course, is not that limber these days. Along with being 37 years old, the lefty has also battled knee and hamstring issues this season.
The Twins apparently didn’t hear what Sabathia had to say about bunting. After Brian Dozier singled off of Sabathia to lead off the top of the first inning on Tuesday, Joe Mauer laid down a bunt on the third base side and reached safely. Jorge Polanco then laid down a bunt of his own, also on the third base side, and was initially ruled out, but after replay review was ruled safe to load the bases with no outs.
Fortunately for Sabathia, he was able to limit the damage, getting Eduardo Escobar to ground into a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play and inducing an inning-ending ground out from Byron Buxton. It’ll be interesting, though, to see if the Twins continue to bunt against Sabathia throughout the night.
Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has been out over two weeks with a strained right hamstring, but he’s ready to return to action. The right-hander threw a bullpen on Tuesday and it went well, so he will start in Thursday’s series opener against the Brewers in Milwaukee, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports.
Arrieta, 31, returns with a 14-9 record, a 3.48 ERA, and a 157/53 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. If he stays on schedule, he’ll make three starts through the end of the regular season, including the regular season finale on October 1 against the Reds.
Arrieta is expected to max out at 75-80 pitches on Thursday and will ramp up through the end of the month.