Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Uggla-Marlins Saga Ends in Trade

November 16, 2010

It was bound to happen. After Dan Uggla turned down the Florida Marlins' four-year, $48 million contract offer, the All-Stat second baseman sent the Fish a clear message: I want out.

Today, the Marlins made a deal with their division rival Atlanta Braves in a trade that sent Uggla to Atlanta in exchange for IF Omar Infante and P Mike Dunn.

Uggla will reunite with former coach Freddi Gonzalez, who was dubbed Atlanta's newest manager after Bobby Cox's retirement.

On the other end, the Marlins welcome more new faces to the team in Infante and Dunn, who join newcomers RP Ryan Webb, RP Edward Mujica (Cameron Maybin Trade to Padres) and RP Dustin Richardson (Andrew Miller trade to Red Sox).

Infante earned his first All-Star bid last season and posted a career-best .321 batting average. However, Infante is better known for his glove as opposed to his bat, which is a positive for a Marlins team that is notorious for lackluster defense. Beyond that, Infante serves as a utility man who can be a versatile piece in the Marlins' effort to improve their defense. (Note: The Fish brought back former coach Perry Hill earlier this month to reduce their abundant fielding woes).

Dunn survived his rookie season with a 2-0 record and 1.89 ERA as a reliever in 25 games. The 25-year old pitcher did not allow an earned run through his first 15.1 innings last season and pitched a total of 19 innings.

Catcher Position Addressed

The Marlins wasted no time in addressing other areas of need as they targeted and signed free agent catcher John Buck. The agreement is for a three-year deal but more detailed terms of the contract have not been released.

Buck has been in the Majors since 2005, playing with the Kansas City Royals for six of those seasons and with the Toronto Blue Jays for one. Last season, Buck had a breakout year with the Jays as he logged career-highs in home runs (20), RBIs (66) and batting average (.261).

Like Infante, Buck earned his first All-Star invitation last season as a result of his stellar play.

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