Dan Uggla wants a five-year, $58 million contract extension

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Dan Uggla has asked the Marlins for a five-year, $58 million contract extension, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
Good luck with that.
Uggla is already under team control for next season as an arbitration-eligible player, so the Marlins shouldn’t really feel a ton of pressure to lock him up long term. Beyond that, Uggla is already 30 years old and pretty bad defensively at second base, so signing him for $12 million per season through age 35 is hardly a no-brainer even if the Marlins weren’t pinching pennies.
Jackson reports that Florida has offered Uggla a three-year deal worth around $8 million per season, which is certainly a lot more sensible but probably won’t be enough to keep him from hitting the open market after 2011. He’s in line to make $10 to $12 million via arbitration and cashing him in for prospects or taking draft picks when he leaves as a free agent would be a reasonable decision by the Marlins.
Uggla is very good offensively for a second baseman, hitting .283/.367/.506 this season and .262/.348/.487 for his career, but gives back quite a few of those runs on defense already, may be a year or two from a position change, and wouldn’t stand out nearly as much at the plate as a corner outfielder or corner infielder. He has the same career adjusted OPS+ as outfielders like Nick Swisher, Brad Hawpe, and Pat Burrell.

Kershaw-Sale anything but a pitcher’s duel

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World Series Game 1 was billed as a battle of aces, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw against Chris Sale of the Red Sox. Between them, they have 14 All-Star Game nominations. Kershaw has won three Cy Young Awards. Sale could his first Cy Young Award this year. Among his 10 seasons with at least 110 innings pitched, Kershaw has never posted an ERA above 2.92. Sale has been at 2.90 or below in each of the last two seasons. The two have combined for over 4,000 career strikeouts and both have averaged better than a strikeout per inning over their careers.

And yet Tuesday’s Game 1 was anything but a pitcher’s duel between Kershaw and Sale. Though a couple of fielding mistakes weren’t of any help to Kershaw in the first inning, Red Sox batters were squaring him up good. Of the five balls put in play in the first inning, three had exit velocities of 100 MPH or higher. Of the 12 total balls put in play against him overall, five reached triple digits in exit velo.

Kershaw gave up a pair of runs in the first, another run in the third on a J.D. Martinez double to straightaway center field, and another two in the fifth. Kershaw led off the fifth by walking Mookie Betts, then giving up a single to Andrew Benintendi, ending his night. Ryan Madson relieved Kershaw and proceeded to allow both inherited runners to score. All told, Kershaw yielded five runs on seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts on 79 pitches in four-plus innings.

Sale, meanwhile, was on the hook for individual runs in the second, third, and fifth. Dodger hitters weren’t squaring him up quite as well as the Red Sox batters squared up Kershaw, but Sale was still more hittable than usual. Of the eight balls put in play against him, four were at least 90 MPH in exit velo. One of the runs was a no-doubt solo home run to Matt Kemp in the second. The Dodgers chased Sale in the fifth when he issued a leadoff walk to Brian Dozier. Matt Barnes relieved him allowed the inherited runner to score. Overall, Sale threw 91 pitches in four-plus innings, serving up three runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.

The game is now, as has been generally the case throughout this postseason, a battle of the bullpens.