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.


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

  • dusto

    I wonder what it would take to get Gaby Sanchez or Dontrelle Willis? Just kidding. Uggla wouldn’t be such a bad idea if we didn’t have Guerrero on board already. There are a few downsides to Uggla. 1. He’s in his age 33 season. 2. Generally rated as a horrific defender. I don’t know how well he would take to sitting on the bench with Ethier, neither of which want to be sitting on the bench. But it is an idea I have not heard yet and I am not totally against it. It would definitely mean we would see someone with a defense first background manning the last spot on the bench that can play 2B, 3B, and SS.

  • LasordasLair

    They have Alexander Guerrero Adrian

    • dusto

      It’s not such a bad idea though, because Guerrero is such a wild card! The guy hasn’t played since 2012 and he’s coming off an injury. It seems like a huge the risk the Dodgers would be taking to try and start him off as the regular everyday starter. There has been a lot of talk about who would be the starter to begin the season (if it isn’t Guerrero) and none of the in house options seem preferable.

      • LasordasLair

        Dude, they’re paying him over 7 million dollars per season. He’s going to be the every day starter. what’s not to understand that putting a guy in the minors that was signed to a 28 million dollar deal is ridiculous? He’s not a minor leaguer

        • dusto

          Do we need to list all the players we have seen make million of dollars only to sit on the bench or eat a roster spot in the minors? If anything, a team like the Dodgers is willing to warm him up in Albuquerque or Chattanooga regardless of how much money he makes.

          • Stacie Wheeler

            If the Dodgers wanted to spend any sort of substantial $ on a backup they would have re-signed Nick Punto. They have Justin “backup” Sellers for just this situation. Guerrero was given number 7 and there’s no way number 7 making $28 mill is starting the season off in Albuquerque barring an injury. Uggla has been horrible the last 3 seasons. Sellers isn’t much better at the plate but defensively he is valuable. Colletti said that Guerrero was leading the pack to open the season at 2B and was confident in his backup options with Sellers/Rojas/Gordon when he spoke at DS last month.

          • dusto

            Uggla was bad last year. He was better than Ethier each of the previous 2 seasons combined. Ethier is actually a pretty good comp for Uggla. Both are acceptable with the glove but their value lives with their bat. I think Nick Punto will be a bust in Oakland. He was given way too much money for the skills he offers. Justin Sellers is not the “backup” we want on the 25 man roster. He is 40 man fodder that has survived in the Dodgers system because we simply have NO ONE ELSE that can play short stop.

            At all.

            I’m hoping for someone more substantial that can play all over the diamond at a moments notice. Someone with some success at the major league level, someone that can sit on the bench when the playoffs roll around and we want our strongest team out there (that involves Guerrero). That someone is not currently on the Dodgers roster and I don’t think it is Uggla. But Uggla isn’t a bad choice if Guerrero can’t cut it for whatever the reason.

        • dusto

          No one is suggesting that he is Tony Gwynn Jr. But look at it logically. He hasn’t played in a really long time. Similar to the layoff the Puig had. The Cuban National Series is only 90 games long and its from November to February. He has never player summer ball! It’s a big risk to ask him to hit the ground running, while never having faced MLB pitching, playing a new position, and never played more than 90 games in a season. While also not having played in over a year+. It’s a huge risk especially since the last time he laced up his shoes, he pulled a hammy. DUDE.

          • LasordasLair

            The time Puig spent in the minors last year was a total waste of time. and you know that. He’s never played summer ball? come on Dustin, that’s a lame excuse to put a professional player in the minors where he doesn’t belong. Just because he played professionally outside of the MLB doesn’t mean he’s on the level of a minor leaguer. I mean If he’s hurt or needs to rehab an injury that’s one thing, but you don’t put a guy in the minors that has been at the pro level. They said the same thing about Puig last year didn’t they? Oh he needs seasoning. Bull. I think he’ll be ok playing under the sun in summer dude. You know, Ive heard that players can handle playing when the sun is out, or at night, or in the fall. He’ll get into playing shape during spring training, that’s what spring training is for. have some faith in the Dodger’s international scouting department, and have some faith in the Dodger management’s plans. And yes money has a lot to do with it, because if they felt he really was a minor league prospect like for example Joc Pederson, then they wouldn’t have signed him for 28 million dollars. And they wouldn’t have let Mark Ellis walk in free agency. Do you really believe they will put Guerrero in the minors, and start Miguel Rojas at second base? Yeah, not going to happen.

          • dusto

            Puig was only called up because of injuries. And there was some debate about bringing him up or Joc Pederson, ~and you know that~. I know what you think is important, but it isn’t in line with what the majority of general managers think. Let me set this straight, I’m not against starting Guerrero at second to start the season. I’m simply saying it’s a HUGE risk asking what the Dodgers have asked of him thus far and they need a backup plan that isn’t what they currently have on their roster. And Uggla is not a bad idea. There are a lot of “if’s” with Guerrero. Can he transition to second base? Can he hit major league pitching? Will he be healthy? These are questions that we don’t want answered two months into the season and have to rely on Miguel Rojas because Guerrero has a pulled hammy that wont heal for another two months. The Dodgers need a better backup plan. A backup plan that can also play short for the inevitable month that Hanley has to take off. And maybe someone that can play third because, not only is Juan Uribe now in his 34 age season, but last years 132 games is the most he has played in 3 years and we shouldn’t expect what we got out of him last year, because we all know what kind of pumpkin Juan is.

          • LasordasLair

            No that’s not altogether true. Injuries are only part of the reason why Puig was called up. He was also called up because he was destroying minor league pitching. Because get ready for this….he’s not a minor leaguer. Just because a player plays outside of the Major leagues, doesn’t necessarily mean he’s below MLB level. You’re making a general assumption based on the fact that he’s not from the major leagues. That’s the common misconception. Its that attitude that he came from somewhere else, didn’t play college ball in the US, so he must be below MLB level. That’s just not true. There are many many international players that are just as good or better than MLB players. Look at Puig, and Ryu, and Yu Darvish, and all the rest. People said the same thing about them. Keith Law said Ryu sucked. And Everyone said that Puig “needed” to start a whole season in the minors. Then he destroyed minor league pitching and everyone was shocked. So here we go again with Guerrero and people saying the same thing. Injury is a concern, but if he’s healthy he’ll be fine. Why wouldn’t he be able to hit MLB pitching? Because he’s from Cuba? Baseball is a universal language Dustin. These international talents can speak the fluent language of baseball. I’m not saying he’s 100 percent going to be great. Sure there is an element of unknown with him, but there was with Puig, and Ryu, and hideo Nomo, and Yu Darvish, and Fernando Valenzuela, and those guys turned out pretty good. I agree that the Dodgers need a better backup plan though. But they have to see what they have in Guerrero before they do anything else. They have to play him. Sorry dude, but I respectfully disagree with you. Let me tell you something Dustin, I would take a whole roster of Cuban Nationals over some of these MLB players any day.

          • dusto

            40 games and 167 pa’s from last year disagree. Yasiel Puig was a minor leaguer last year. I think the misconception you are missing is that he hasn’t player PERIOD. Not that he hasn’t played in one league or another, but that he has literally been away from the game for more than 365+ days. Where the Dodgers have some players with health concerns, they have quality backups in place. The outfield and starting pitching are a great example of this. However, the infield is definitely short handed. None of the projected starting 3 (Guerrero, Hanley, Uribe) played more than 132 games last year. I simply believe, (opinion alert!) that Guerrero will start the season in the minors. If (qualifier) that is true, then they need someone better than the current options. I’m not saying that Guerrero will be a failure. Nor am I saying that he isn’t good enough to one day be an everyday contributor. My own projections see him as a poor mans Brandon Phillips. “Poor mans” only because he doesn’t play in the band box that is Great American Ballpark. You seem to assume that I think he will be a failure, I simply want a better backup plan for when he, Hanley, or Uribe are out for a month. I have nothing against Cuban players. Give me all of them. Especially give me the ones that have actually played the game over the last year. But to say that Guerrero is a sure thing is wrong. He is not Yasiel Puig. He is not Ryu, Darvish, or Nomo. I want him to be good. I want him to hit and defend like a crazed maniac that can’t be stopped. For all the great international signings there are, lets not forget about Adienne Hechevarria, Dice-K, Kosuke Fukudome, Kaz Ishii, Hideki (the fat) Irabu, and Kei Igawa (who literally spent years making tens of million in the minors). I want Guerrero to be great. But incase he isn’t I want something better than Gordon, Figgins, Sellers, and Harris.

          • LasordasLair

            I agree with you that we need a better backup option. No question. Figgins and Rojas are terrible. However, putting Guerrero in the minors is a waste of time. its a waste of his time, and it’s a waste of the Dodger’s time. I’m telling you, he’s coming from the same place that Puig came from. And no Puig is not and never was a minor leaguer dude. He was a major league talent FORCED to play in the minor leagues for two months, and it was an utter waste of his time, and the Dodger’s time. They realized that pretty quickly. They have to see what Guerrero has before they do anything, and putting him in the minors wont tell them that. He has 6 weeks in spring training to get ready. That’s the normal amount of time any player needs to get ready. Puig hadn’t played a full year either before he came over. IM not saying Guerrero is a sure thing, I’m saying that they need to see what he has, and warming him up in Chattanooga is a waste of time. If he struggles at the majors then you can send him down if you like. Do you think Guerrero thinks of himself at a minor league level? No. Not at all. Lets trust the Dodgers on this one. If there is one thing the Dodgers have always done well, it’s bring in amazing international talent. They’ve been doing if for years. Not every player works out, but they have a pretty good success rate.

    • Adrian Garcia

      there’s increasing possibility that he’s not ready for opening day, though

      • LasordasLair

        Do you mean because of injury?

        • Adrian Garcia

          yes, in case of injury

          and if Guerrero blows everyone away, it would make for a great bench having SVS, Ethier, and Uggla

  • [email protected]

    I like Uggla – he is a gamer. At his worst, he might be better than Gordon and some of the other people we are considering for 2nd base. The question is, Can he play the infield well enough until Guerrero is fully able to take over the position?

    • LasordasLair

      Guerrero will be ready to go. He’s at a pro level. Spring training is six weeks long and I’m pretty confident he’ll be fine for the start of the season. Uggla is terrible, and has been in steady decline over the last few years.

      • dusto

        Uggla will be ready to go. He’s at a pro level. Spring training is
        six weeks long and I’m pretty confident he’ll be fine for the start of
        the season. Uggla is a pro’s pro, and has been in steady decline over the
        “last year”.

  • dusto

    I think I’d rather have someone like Jed Lowrie. Someone who can play all over the diamond and can hit from both sides of the plate. His body isn’t made for the long haul and I think would do better serving as a bench platoon with all 3 of our infielders. It doesn’t seem likely that we could get Lowrie since he is the starting short stop for the A’s. But that is the type of player I would target. Ethier and pieces for Lowrie.

    • Adrian Garcia

      I love Lowrie, one of his bigger fans, don’t know how likely it is before he hits free agency but we’ll see i’m a big fan