Following his release on Friday, Dan Uggla cleared waivers today and became a free agent. Ken Rosenthal says he already has a home:
Not shocking given the Giants’ clear need at second base and the fact that, from the moment Uggla was no longer a Brave, reports started popping up about the Giants’ interest in him.
Can’t beat the price. With the Braves on the hook for the nearly $19 million left on his contract through next season, he’ll be paid a pro-rated amount of the big league minimum. For that money it’s at least worth a shot to see if a change of scenery can get Uggla to at least approach his old form. It’s not the Giants haven’t had some success with this approach in the past. See, Pat Burrell, Aubrey Huff, etc.
Uggla is hitting .162/.241/.231 on the season and lost his job to rookie Tommy LaStella.
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.