There had been rumors that this was coming. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported hearing that the Atlanta Braves were going to release second baseman Dan Uggla before Friday night’s game. The rumor was later confirmed by FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and was recently officially announced by the Braves on Twitter,
The Braves have released 2B Dan Uggla. A corresponding roster move will be made prior to tonight’s game.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 18, 2014
Uggla, 34, was a two-time All-Star with the, then, Florida Marlins when he was acquired by the Braves via trade in 2010. The Braves immediately signed him to a five-year $62 million contract. He did well in 2011 having a 33-game hitting streak and hitting 36 home runs. Uggla made the All-Star team once as a member of the Braves in 2012, according to Baseball-Reference.com but since then his numbers have declined.
This season Uggla lost his starting job in May when the Braves called-up Tommy La Stella from Triple-A and has played sparingly since. He hit just .179 with 22 homers and 171 strikeouts in 2013 and was hitting .162 with just two homers and 10 RBI this year up until his release.
There was an incident this past Sunday when Uggla apparently showed up late, just 30 minutes before game time and manager Fredi Gonzalez suspended him for one day. With both parties seemingly so discontented it seems that releasing Uggla became the Braves only option.
The Braves will still be responsible for the $13 million left on Uggla’s contract which goes through the 2015 season and is the main reason the slumping second baseman hadn’t been released sooner. As of now it appears that Uggla is unemployed and will be a free-agent. This story may not be over yet. There are still teams out there looking for help at second base like the Giants and the Dodgers. However, with his low numbers and shoddy defense, being signed seems unlikely. Still, stay tuned to find out what transpires in the coming days.