Dan Uggla was traded to the Atlanta Braves on November 17 after spending his entire professional career with the Florida Marlins. Something tells me he likes Atlanta better already. Why? Well, apparently the Braves are preparing to back a dump truck full of money up to Uggla’s doorstep.
The 30-year-old Uggla is reportedly about to sign a five-year, $60 million extension with the Braves before ever stepping on the field for them. The second baseman is coming off a season in which he hit .287 with 33 home runs and 105 RBI. The home runs and RBI were both career-highs.
Uggla made $7.8 million last season and could have made as much as $10 million for 2010 if he had gone the arbitration route this winter. But instead, both sides have agreed to a mammoth extension for a guy who might have already peaked.
We have to wonder if it is wise to give a middle infielder in his 30s, who is not known for his defense, and is built like a corner infielder, a long-term deal worth tons of cash. Uggla will be 31 in March, which means he’ll be 35 and 36 years old in the final two years of his new deal.
The Braves are not known for splashing money around indiscriminately, so obviously they have faith that Uggla’s abilities will last.
This is kind of a head-scratching move from our perspective, but maybe Uggla will prove us wrong.