Dan Uggla on potential bench role with Nationals: “That’s not what I’m looking to do.”

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Second baseman Dan Uggla has had a pretty good spring with the Nationals, batting .270 with two doubles, two home runs, and six RBI in 37 at-bats. He also has a .426 on-base percentage with a .486 slugging percentage. Due to his poor performance over the last few years with the Braves (and in four games with the Giants last year), he can’t be counted on as a regular player, so if he makes the Nationals’ 25-man roster, it will be as a bench player.

That’s a role Uggla admits he wouldn’t feel comfortable in, Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington reports:

“I’d have to say no,” [Uggla] said. “I’ve never done it before. It’s not where I feel like I’m at in my career. That’s not what I’m looking to do.”

The Nationals signed Uggla to a minor league deal in late December. He compiled a disastrous .442 OPS in 145 plate appearances with the Braves and 12 with the Giants last season and has been a significantly below-average defender at second base throughout most of his career.

Yunel Escobar is slated to serve as the Nationals’ everyday second baseman. They also have Danny Espinosa and Kevin Frandsen capable of filling in at the position as well.

Phillies, J.T. Realmuto working on a long term deal

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies “are quietly trying to hammer out” a contract extension with J.T. Realmuto. He says it may take some time to be done — nothing is imminent — but that the sides are working on it.

Realmuto still has one final year of arbitration, and he’s likely to get $10 million or more for 2020 if nothing is done. It sounds as though he and the Phillies are both eager to cement a long term pact, however, that’ll keep him from hitting the free agent market next winter. Salisbury says the deal, once reached, could be for 4-5 years and $20+ million per season. He says an extension would likely not kick in until 2021. He and the club would agree to a separate one-year deal to cover 2020.

Realmuto, who is considered by most to be the top all-around catcher in the game at the moment, will turn 29 before the beginning of the 2020 season. He hit .275/.328/.493 with 25 homers and 83 driven in this past season, winning the Silver Slugger Award and a Gold Glove.