May 26, 2013; Flushing, NY, USA; Dan Uggla drops a popup hit by New York Mets third baseman David Wright (not pictured) in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

What If The Dodgers Traded For Dan Uggla?

John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

It’s… a thought.

And you know what? It may be an idea better than Miguel Rojas or Brendan Harris, or whatever chance you give Justin Sellers to actually contribute significantly to the 2014 Dodgers.

I’m writing this not to necessarily advocate for Uggla, but to pass along the worst part of the year, so take this suggestion with a mild grain of salt, I don’t think anything will happen, but it’s definitely an interesting proposition. Besides, everyone acknowledges that the aforementioned trio of futility infielders are bad. Because they are, there’s no way around it, Harris hasn’t seen semi-regular playing time since 2009, Justin Sellers has been unable to hit at or above .200 in his short stint in the majors, and Miguel Rojas consistently proves unable to put up OPS’s of .600 against minor league pitching with any regularity.

Seems like i’m forgetting someone in that list.

Oh.

Chone Figgins.

The same Figgins who was a net below replacement level in Seattle. The same Figgins who couldn’t even make it out of Spring Training with the 2013 Miami Marlins. In case you forgot about how bad the Marlins were last year, they were forced to give a hilarious 2,401 plate appearances to Donovan Solano, Adeiny Hechavarria, Placido Polanco, Nick Green, Juan Pierre, Chris Valaika, and Dereck Dietrich. Gil Velazquez got a plate appearance on the Miami Marlins.

Yep, that bad.

And yes, this also means Gil Velazquez got more major league plate appearances in 2013 than Chone Figgins.

See why I am a bit skeptical about the current futility group going forward?

So I have no faith in the internal options. So my solution is to go after a guy who hit .179 last season? Well that number should be taken with a grain of salt, after all he did have to get LASIK eye surgery midseason, I don’t think he’s that bad. He’s certainly not a hitter who will hit for a high average, but there’s no reason to believe he’s a “below the Mendoza line type hitter”.

But I like “the owl”, this past season  you can look to his stats and find that he was acceptable. His K rate was an outrageous 31.8 K%, but look at his OBP and SLG, very respectable numbers of .309, and.362 (respectively). For a guy who was as bad as he was, that adds up to a weighted On Base Average of .303, which is slightly below average. Taking into consideration his position, that is a player you can certainly use. His WAR was a measly 0.5, but that’s to be expected given his far below average BABIP (which translated into a low batting average), and his miserable K%, I just think he’s better than that. Am I basing my whole faith in Uggla on the hope that the LASIK eye surgery fixed everything? Sure. But if he can bet back to his 2012, or even 2011 levels of production, you’d have yourself a productive player.

Now I know, most people wont be very receptive towards this idea, nor should you. He has been quite frankly awful the past few years, and the Braves probably wouldn’t move him either, but the Braves have Tommy La Stella ready to step in. John Sickels wrote this about him last year:

All he does is hit and hit and hit; career .302/.404/.494 hitter. Scouting reports are muted due to questions about his defense, but the guy rakes and I think his glove is underrated. Excellent strike zone judgment too

So up and coming second baseman, declining player who’s owed a fair amount of money, and a team desperate for a 2b (the Dodgers), seems like there’s a fit here for the Dodgers.

Now, i’m not saying Uggla is the best solution out there, but he’s a good upside bet, allows the Dodgers to take their time with Alexander Guerrero, and once Guerrero’s ready, Uggla can be a good contributor off of the bench with lots of power, something the bench is lacking sorely.

I prefer a bench of

Andre Ethier

Dan Uggla

Scott Van Slyke

Tim Federowicz

One of the utility infielders I suppose

Over the alternative, thinking about it, I see the downsides, the money owed to him (2/26) is a downer, but maybe it wouldn’t be so bad seeing Uggla in a Dodger uniform when talking about depth for the team.

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Tags: Dan Uggla Los Angeles Dodgers

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