I was doing some reading earlier this afternoon during a slow stretch at work and it was talking about how the Braves’ GM Frank Wren would like to trade Dan Uggla this offseason. Uggla, 33, has been a disaster for the Braves, being left off last season’s postseason roster because of his .179 batting average, in spite of his 22 home runs.
The problem for the Braves is that he’s owed $26 million through the 2015 season, $13 million per year.
So here’s my crazy idea: If you could get him fairly cheap and get the Braves to foot some of the bill, would it be worth having Dan Uggla on the bench in St. Louis?
Last season Uggla hit .179 with 22 home runs. By the time the season ended he’d lost his starting job at second base. The Braves would likely be willing to give him away for some salary relief. That’s where the Cardinals come in.
With the recent non-tender of John Axford, the Cardinals are currently projected to spend $16 million below where they were last year. While John Mozeliak may be deign to spend this kind of money on a bench player, the results could be great.
Uggla is still the kind of player who could get you 25-35 homers a season if he played every day. His 22 homers, despite losing his starting job at the end of the season were still good enough to be tied for 44th in baseball. Only 43 guys hit more homers than him.
He could be such a weapon for the Cardinals coming off the bench late in games to pinch hit. Now, he’s not the prototypical Cardinals hitter who will typically extend a rally. No, he’s the kind who will end the rally, one way or another.
Because of that there would be frustration with Uggla for Cardinals fans. He would fail 80% of the time. Twenty percent of the time he’d come through with a hit and maybe 5% of the time he’d come through with a home run. It’d be like Ty Wigginton with power!
Now do I ever want to see him consistently starting? No way! But his potential contributions shouldn’t be overlooked for one of the worst pinch hitting teams in baseball last year.
Not sure it’s a great idea. Or even just an average idea. But it’s at least worth a consideration depending on the asking price.
Who would you rather at the plate, down by 1 in the bottom of the ninth? Daniel Descalso, Pete Kozma, Shane Robinson, or Dan Uggla?