The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reported two weeks ago that the Braves were nearing a five-year, $61 million extension with newly acquired infielder Dan Uggla.
Cafardo has an update on the ongoing talks today in his info-packed Sunday notes column.
The two sides have not yet reached an official agreement because Uggla’s camp is seeking “a few more dollars,” according to Cafardo’s source, but the assumption is that a contract will be signed during the first week of January.
The Braves snagged Uggla from the Marlins earlier this winter for utilityman Omar Infante and left-handed relief prospect Mike Dunn. The 30-year-old Uggla is going to play second base in Atlanta, just as he did in south Florida. Martin Prado will be pushed to left field.
He’s not a strong defensive infielder, but Uggla has tallied at least 30 home runs in each of the last four seasons and finished with a strong .287/.369/.508 batting line and a team-leading 105 RBI over 159 games for the Marlins in 2010. He should fit snugly in the heart of the Braves’ batting order for at least the next couple of seasons. Whether he is still mashing in his mid-30s is up for debate.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.
Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.
According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.
Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.
Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.
Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.
The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.