Dan Uggla and the Washington Nationals have agreed to terms on a minor-league deal that includes an invitation to spring training, the team has announced.
Uggla hit .149 in 2014, was released by the Atlanta Braves, then appeared in only four games for the San Francisco Giants before being released again. The second baseman has struggled to regain the form he showed prior to the 2012 season. It should be noted that the Braves still owe Uggla $13 million for 2015 (ESPN.com, Dec 26).
Once upon a time, Dan Uggla was a productive All-Star with a dangerous bat. That stretch from 2006-2010 with the Marlins was about as good as it gets offensively for a second baseman. He moved on to the Atlanta Braves, however, his production didn’t move with him. In five years with the Marlins, Uggla hit .263 with 154 career home runs. It went downhill in Atlanta, hitting 79 home runs in four years there, with his batting average plummeting to .209. While it’s been an enigma what’s happened to his game, it’s even more intriguing as to how he’s managed to continue his career as a Major-League baseball player. This is the land of second chances, however this is bordering on insanity.
The flip side of the argument, for the Nationals, is that offering Uggla a minor-league deal is a low-risk move. He’s 35 years old, however the Nats do happen to be a team looking for options at second base, and it won’t hurt their pockets to part ways with him if it doesn’t work out.
When you have $13 million still coming your way and teams still taking your agent’s phone calls, then you can do what Uggla’s doing. He continues to play baseball for as long as teams give him an opportunity. I thought he was done after the way 2014 played out for him with the Braves and Giants, however it’s clear he’s made of teflon these days.