Coming off the worst offensive season of his career and having been left off the team’s playoff roster, it came as no surprise to see Dan Uggla’s name being tossed around some early trade rumblings once the offseason began. There’s been little news since, however, and it seems as though the Atlanta Braves are receiving very little – if any – interest from teams looking to acquire the second baseman according to Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) December 31, 2013
Uggla was downright disappointing in 2013, batting just .179/.309/.362 in 537 PA. He managed to hit 22 HR (tops among NL second basemen) but otherwise offered little of value at the plate, striking out a career-worst 171 times while amassing just 80 total hits on the year. For $13 Million the Braves just simply expected to see more and with two years and $26 Million remaining on his contract it’s become clear why they have been looking to move him.
The second base market was not flush with top talent available this winter (at least beyond Robinson Cano) but unfortunately for Atlanta, Uggla no longer fits into that category. A player who’d put together six straight seasons of 27+ HR and 82+ RBI to begin his career, Uggla was once viewed among the upper echelon of players at the position in the game. His production has steadily declined over the past two years while his counterparts – guys like Cano, Brandon Phillips, Dustin Pedroia – appear to be getting better. Uggla has been left in their wake and now the Braves might be forced to eat most, if not all, of that remaining $26 Million in order to move him (let alone get a player of substance in return).
Should Atlanta find a way to move Uggla off their roster it’s expected that they’d look internally to replace him. Tyler Pastornicky could be one option. Tommy La Stella, a top prospect who had a very strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, could be another.