Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Updated: November 17, 9:06 AM ET
Braves acquire Dan Uggla from Marlins
ESPN.com news services
The Atlanta Braves acquired All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla from the Florida Marlins for utilityman Omar Infante and pitcher Mike Dunn on Tuesday in the first trade of the general managers meetings.
Uggla, 30, has 154 home runs in five seasons with Florida. He's a two-time All-Star and just won his first career Silver Slugger award.
The Marlins elected to move Uggla after they were unable to reach an agreement with him on a long-term contract. He made $7.8 million this year, is eligible for salary arbitration and can become a free agent after the 2011 World Series.
"We're satisfied he's here for one year," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "He's a kind of guy we'd like to make long-term."
Uggla's arrival frees up Martin Prado to share time at first base with rookie Freddie Freeman, provide insurance for Chipper Jones at third, and also log some at-bats in left field.
Wren said Uggla will play second.
"Martin plays left field as his primary position in winter ball, though he's not playing this year," Wren said. "So we have some flexibility depending on how Chipper responds."
Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said the trade followed the failed contract talks. Uggla was taken from Arizona in the 2005 winter meeting draft when he was left unprotected.
"The deal just didn't work out. We just made the decision," Beinfest said. "Dan is a great guy. He understands. He's a great story in a lot of ways from where he came from five years ago to where he is today."
Terry Bross, Uggla's agent, said the player was in Mexico on a Nike tour and not available to discuss the trade.
"He loved Florida and wanted to remain a Marlin. I'm sure he's saddened by not being a Marlin anymore. But he'll be excited to be a Brave."
Florida offered Uggla a three-year, $24 million extension during the summer, a person familiar with the talks said, speaking on condition of anonymity because those details were not announced. The person said Uggla countered with a five-year, $71 million proposal.
In recent weeks, the Marlins increased their offer to $48 million over four years, but Uggla remained steadfast with his initial proposal.
Bross declined comment on those figures. He said he would be willing to discuss a multiyear deal with the Braves but called it a step-by-step process and said he will wait to hear from Atlanta.
Infante was a first-time All-Star who hit a career-high .321 with eight homers and 47 RBIs. Dunn was 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA in 25 games in his rookie season.
"There could be a little downturn in the power," Beinfest said, "but it's a different look now for the Marlins to get the high average, high on-base guy and then hopefully the guys in the middle, Hanley [Ramirez] and Mike [Stanton] can drive those guys in."
While the teams had been in discussions for a while, it came together when the GMs gathered for their annual get-together.
"I think we exchanged some names 10 days ago or 12 days ago," Wren said. "As we got into our meetings today, I think it was just by happenstance, we happened to be sitting beside each other. We didn't have assigned seats as we normally do. We started talking and it progressed by late in the morning we were exchanging names and were in basic agreement what the deal would be. It was just going ahead and getting some additional information."
The Uggla trade continues a busy offseason for the Marlins, who dealt outfielder Cameron Maybin to San Diego and sent pitcher Andrew Miller to Boston last week.
Those two players were at the core of the 2007 deal that sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis from Florida to Detroit.
Florida also was reportedly nearing a three-year, $18 million contract with catcher John Buck, who hit .281 with 20 home runs and 66 RBIs in a breakout season with the Blue Jays in 2010.
Uggla will be reunited with Fredi Gonzalez in Atlanta. Gonzalez managed the Marlins for 3½ years before being fired in June. He was hired to replace Bobby Cox in mid-October.
Information from ESPN.com senior writer Jerry Crasnick and The Associated Press was used in this report.