Uggla says long-term agreement with Marlins is ‘reachable’

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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.

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.