Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dan Uggla: What Cha' Bitchin For?

Does Hanley Ramirez not care because he's got a $70 million dollar contract? Crazy as it sounds, Dan Uggla thinks/thought so:
Uggla accused Ramirez of a lack of desire and effort to win. He also said Ramirez wasn't caring because he's already secured a $70 million, six-year contract.
The funniest part about all of this to me is that Ramirez is earning $5.5 million this season and that Uggla is earning $5.35 million. In baseball terms, that amount is negligible.

But I understand how jealously works. With a frugal franchise like the Marlins, long term contracts like the one Ramirez has are almost impossible to come by. Almost any other team in baseball would have locked up Uggla, the only 2nd baseman in history to hit at least 25 home runs in each of his first four seasons, to some kind of team friendly long term contract.

But not the Marlins. Their salary structure simply does not give them the freedom to hand out long term contracts. So it's easy to see why Uggla could/would be jealous of Ramirez and frustrated by the situation. If the Marlins make the playoffs or at least make a big September push, that could mean big money for him during arbitration and perhaps a bigger long term deal with another club in the future.

And the bottom line is this: as long as Uggla continues to produce at the rate he's been producing over the last four years, he's gonna get paid. Uggla almost definitely will get a boost from the $5.35 he earned this year in arbitration and he could very well become a $10 million dollar a year player if he continues to hit (and hopefully improve). Once Uggla becomes a free agent after 2012, he'll be in line to receive his big money deal. No, the deal won't come close to Hanley's, but given Uggla's ability and current stats, it should be something that Uggla is very happy with.

I can't help, but think that the Marlins would be doing themselves (and Uggla) a big favor by trading him to another team after the season. That would give the Marlins more payroll flexilibity, especially with Uggla's salary set to go up because of arbitration, and it would give Uggla a MUCH BETTER chance to get a long term contract before 2012.


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