Apr 25, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (26) attempts to make a catch against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Keystone Sack Changes Coming? Soon?

Mark Bowman just stirred the pot – big time.

mlb.com writer Mark Bowman, in his latest blog post, just raised the $24 million question:  could the Braves be considering dumping Dan Uggla?

His answer:  yes.

His post, which can be read in full from here, has a number of quotable statements, including this:

Thus [the Braves] have reached that point where they are now at least discussing any all options regarding Uggla, who has batted .186 with 35 home runs and a .657 OPS in 265 games  dating back to June 1, 2012.


As I suggested just a couple of hours ago, I do not believe that Dan is THE problem in the Braves’ lineup with hitting.  But he’s certainly the poster boy, and stats like those you see above are the reason.  Fact is:  he is showing no signs of improvement whatsoever.  His walk rate is down (by close to 60%).  His defense is worse.  Whatever value Dan had in OBP stats is … gone (.248 vs. .309 in 2013).  He has 2 homers, which projects to 11 for the year.


LaStellaYellMeanwhile, Down on the Farm…

Tommy La Stella is on a mission:  the heir apparent is now hitting .313, OBP of .372, and OPSing .705 (though just two doubles, which is oddly low for him thus far – 27 games at the AAA level).  Oh, and only a single fielding error thus far.

Doesn’t matter:  those numbers are tons better than what the Braves are seeing out of their current second baseman.  La Stella could regress by 100 points in the majors and the move will still be a “win.” He’s been a little streaky, but right now, anything would be better than “a lot cold.”

Except for the money factor, of course.

Yes, if Uggla was a $5 million player, he’d have been gone by now.  The Braves are clearly trying to do something to make better use of the $24-ish million remaining on that contract, which runs through 2015.

According to Bowman, the front office may now be figuring that they’ve reached a break-even point:  the point at which it costs them more to keep him than to cut him.  Costs in ticket sales, possible playoff revenue… you name it.  Certainly fan “good will” is also a factor.

If/when this happens, the roster move would be clinically direct and straightforward:  Dan Uggla would be placed on waivers, removing him from the 40-man roster.  La Stella would be added.  End, over, done.

For those still holding out hope for a trade?  Not gonna happen.  Yes, I think Dan lands another job… somewhere.  But nobody would do anything until after the waiver period expires and the Braves become formally obligated to eat the contract.


Bowman isn’t suggesting a change will be made this week, or even next…but as his finger is on the pulse and the mood of the team, this write-up does suggest strongly to me that we’re definitely talking “pre-All-Star break” and perhaps (my take on the subject) by/before June 1st.




Normally, I wouldn’t paste tweets like this in, but Josh doesn’t appear to be a ‘bomb scare’ guy on twitter:  this wasn’t a random thought on his part.


Stay tuned.



Tags: Dan Uggla Tommy La Stella

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