12 February 2011
Most Miami fans are still haunted by the move the Miami Dolphins made in 2007, when they traded Wes Welker within the division to the New England Patriots. Since then he has gone on from being a local fan favorite, to being a star in the NFL who twice a year terrorizes the Dolphins secondary and makes fans wonder what could have been.
The Dolphins did not really have a choice that offseason. Wes Welker was a restricted free agent and the Patriots were able to make an offer that the Dolphins were unable to match, so instead of just getting a second round pick, the Dolphins traded Welker to the Patriots for a second and seventh round pick.
Now, Dan Uggla is not quite as big of a secret as Wes Welker was when he left South Florida. Uggla is a 2-time All-Star and has been one of the best homerun hitters in the NL. However, Uggla is best known for his 2008 All-Star performance when he went 0-4 and set the record for errors in the All-Star Game.
Just like Welker, Uggla is another over achiever in the game who has beaten the odds. Wes Welker was an undrafted rookie out of Texas Tech who was cut by the San Diego Chargers in camp before being signed by the Miami Dolphins. Dan Uggla was an average playing in the Arizona Dimondback organization that never made it past AA, and was a rule 5 draft pick in 2005. The next year at age 26 he made is first start in the big leagues and over the next 5 seasons he would hit 154 home runs and become the Florida Marlins all-time leader in home runs.
The Marlins are notorious for not keeping their star players, and often preferring to just trade away players and promote from with in. Recently that has changed a bit with the Marlins choosing to sign pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Josh Johnson, and also shortstop Handley Ramirez all to long term deals. Financially not signing Dan to a long term deal may make some sense if you look at it as the Marlins were not only able to bring in Mike Dunn and Omar Infante, but it also freed up the cash so that the Marlins could sign John Buck and Javier Vazquez. Also Uggla is going to be 31 at the start of the 2011, and projects to be a DH rather than an everyday infielder. Also the Marlins have a good player in Chris Coghlan who at some point will become the Marlins 2nd baseman.
But trading him with in the division is the decision (and not getting much in return) that really makes me personally weary of this deal. Uggla while a liability in the field, he is a perfect fit for the Braves batting order. Uggla give the Braves a power hitter form the left side of the plate, which is much needed as Chipper Jones continues to decline, and he also will provide as protection of the Braves rising star Jason Haywood.
As much as Dag Uggla use to terrorize the Braves pitching staffs the past 5 years, it maybe the Marlins Front Office who will nightmares of Dan Uggla for years to come.
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