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

9 Comments

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.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.