Dan Uggla rejected a four-year, $48 million contract extension proposal from the Marlins last week. But he’s not done negotiating.
According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, the arbitration-eligible second baseman told reporters Thursday that believes a long-term deal is “reachable” and that the two sides “can close the gap” before salary arbitration proceedings get underway.
Uggla has slugged at least 30 home runs in each of the last four seasons and finished with a quality .287/.369/.508 batting line and a team-leading 105 RBI in 159 games for the Marlins this past year.
He has poor range at second base, but the Fish are aiming to be immediately competitive when they move into their new baseball-only stadium in 2012 and losing the power-hitting Uggla would mean a major blow to that plan.
If it takes a six-year contract worth closer to $60 million, the Marlins should open their purse strings.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.