Report: Marlins offer Dan Uggla a four-year deal

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The Marlins have been content to let Dan Uggla do the arbitration thing the past couple of years, actually going to arbitration before the 2009 season and signing a one-year arbitration-avoiding deal this past offseason. His consistently strong production, however, has led to the point where they have to go long term with him, it seems. He wants to stay there, they seem to like him, and if he leaves they have a big hole in their offense.  Suggestions have been, therefore, that Uggla and the Feesh were going to do a deal this winter, avoiding both his last year of arbitration eligibility and free agency next season.

To that end, Jon Heyman reports that the Marlins are offering Dan Uggla a four-year deal. Heyman says Uggla would only get $8 million in 2011, however, which isn’t much of a raise (he made $7.8 million in 2010).  In fact, given the year he had, it’s an insult.  It’s possible, I assume, that the offer could escalate sharply after that to coincide with new revenue realized by the move into the new ballpark next year. It would probably have to, you’d think, because Uggla could easily make more than that — a lot more than that — going into arbitration this year and then hitting the market next season.

Or, if the Marlins are so afraid of paying him more than $8 million in 2011, they could simply non-tender him.  Which would be cheap and shortsighted. But hey, it’s the Marlins we’re talking about.

Alex Bregman shows how easy it is to manufacture “controversy” in baseball

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In most sports it takes legitimate trash talk to create off-day “controversy.” In baseball, it takes the weakest sauce. We saw how weak that sauce was yesterday.

Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros are going to face off against Nate Eovaldi and the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS tonight. It’s worth noting that earlier this season, they hit back-to-back-to-back home runs off of Eovaldi when he was pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Yesterday, in an act which was likely somewhat inspired by self-motivation, somewhat inspired by getting in Eovaldi’s head and somewhat inspired by a simple interest in having fun, Bregman took the video of those back-to-back-to-back homers off of Eovaldi and posted it to his Instagram:

Of course, since this is baseball, where even farting off-key can be construed as “showing up” the opposition or somehow disrespecting the game, it became a thing. Or at least people tried to make it become a thing.

Indeed, it took them a bit to find someone who would help them make it a thing, because Eovaldi himself didn’t care about it a bit, nor did Astros manager A.J. Hinch or Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Eventually, however, they hit pay dirt. Here’s Sox infielder Steve Pearce talking to WEEI.com:

“Wow. I don’t know why he would do that. We do our talking on the field. If he wants to run his mouth now we’ll see who is talking at the end of the series.”

My guess is that almost no one on the planet, Steve Pearce included, would care about this in a vacuum or if they allowed themselves to think through it for more than a second. Baseball culture, though — and let’s be clear about it, baseball media culture — has conditioned most of its players and participants to think that stuff like this is supposed to be controversial, so it actually takes effort not to start dancing to this kind of tune on auto-pilot.

Kudos to Hinch, Cora and Eolvaldi for exerting that effort and not dancing to it. To the press that automatically sought out comment on this and Pearce who dutifully gave it: hey, I get it. It’s hard to resist one’s conditioning. Maybe you’ll be able to resist it next time.