INDIANAPOLIS -- The Florida Marlins, failing to gain traction in their efforts to trade second baseman Dan Uggla here, insist they will tender an arbitration offer to him by Monday's deadline, a source familiar with their thinking tells CBSSports.com.
The market has been sluggish for Uggla, who batted .243 with 31 home runs and 90 RBIs in 2009, and the Marlins believe it is because rival clubs think they're so financially strapped that they won't tender him a contract by Monday's deadline. Plenty of rumors to that effect are filling the lobby here at the Indianapolis Marriott.
That would make him a free agent, which would allow rival clubs to simply strike a financial deal with him and bypass giving up players to the Marlins.
Florida, however, does not view simply cutting him loose as an option.
The Marlins do have 11 players eligible for arbitration and clearly will not be able to offer arbitration to all of them. With a $5.35 million salary in 2009, Uggla is the logical trading chip because he is expected to command between $7 and $8 million in 2010 salary through arbitration.
The Marlins' projected payroll is somewhere around $36 million, which means Uggla will command a significant portion of that salary if the Marlins tender him arbitration and do not trade him. Among other clubs, San Francisco has expressed interest and discussed Uggla with the Marlins but has not been aggressive enough to strike a deal.
Starter Josh Johnson also is arbitration-eligible and, though talks between him and the Marlins on a multi-year deal broke down earlier this winter, the club says it will not trade him.
Florida is continuing its efforts to trade relievers Matt Lindstrom and Reynel Pinto.