Tag:Dan Uggla
Posted on: July 25, 2010 2:30 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2010 2:57 pm

Rangers, Rockies chasing Cantu

Jorge Cantu Interest in the Marlins' Jorge Cantu is heating up, with the Rangers making a major push for the third baseman, reports MLB.com's T.R Sullivan.

The Rangers have been jonesing for a right-handed bat that can play first base, and Cantu's added bonus of being able to play third can't hurt.

The Rockies are also in on Cantu as they seek to upgrade their own first-base situation. Colorado has gotten the second half off to a poor start, but with Troy Tulowitzki close to returning, could take off shortly. The Denver Post 's Troy Renck also notes that the Rockies have their eye on Cleveland's Jhonny Peralta. Perhaps a consolation prize if they lose out on Cantu or the highly sought-after Ty Wigginton?

Cantu has been one of the Marlins' best bats the last few years but has tailed off somewhat in 2010, cobbling together a total line of .260/.309/.412. Even allowing for facing just left-handed pitchers -- as Cantu would likely do most of the time in Texas in a timeshare with Chris Davis -- Cantu doesn't have an overwhelming case there as his total line doesn't have significant platoon splits. Also hurting him is the fact that the only month he's been a strong hitter is April -- he's gotten progressively worse as the season moves on.

However, the Fish may not want Cantu to be traded. They love the way he drives in runs even as he struggles, and with Florida's recent strong play, suddenly find themselves legitimately in the hunt for the NL East division crown. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports this, as well as the fact the club doesn't feel top prospect Logan Morrison could adequately replace Cantu in the lineup.

A more pressing question is how Morrison would fit into the defense. Cantu has primarily played third base as Gaby Sanchez has first base sewn up. Morrison is a natural first baseman who is collecting time in left field to boost his versatility . Florida could shift left-fielder Chris Coghlan -- a natural second baseman -- to third, a position many feel he could play.

However, is the team willing to have Coghlan learn third on the fly? Even given his history as a second baseman he has just one game to his credit at the keystone position in his two-year big-league career.

No, if Cantu is traded, one would think the new starter at third base would be -- please avert your eyes -- Emilio Bonifacio. They could ask Dan Uggla to move to third, a position linked to Uggla for quite a few years. However, indications are that Uggla has no interest in such a move and given the Fish are considering trying to extend Uggla's deal, upsetting the slugger is not the right move at the time.

If the Marlins were rebuilding, it would be easier to move Cantu and not worry about who plays third for the rest of the year. Now that the team is strongly considering buying, however, a deal gets that much more complicated. At this point, it's difficult to see Cantu, Uggla and even Cody Ross being shipped out.

Cantu has $2 million of his salary remaining on the year which is $2 million too many for the financially-strapped Rangers. However, a judge in the bankruptcy court case against Texas said he could force MLB to extend the line of credit to the Rangers, allowing the club to add another piece. Cantu is eligible for free agency after the year.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 20, 2010 1:37 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2010 3:04 pm

Trade deadline seller: Florida Marlins

As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looms, the CBS Facts & Rumors team will look at the biggest players leading up to the deadline. This week we'll look at the teams who will be talked about the most; next week will be the players who might be moved.

Dan Uggla It's the time of the year where the Marlins get rid of future payroll considerations. The Marlins are only two games below .500 after their current three-game winning streak, but still trail three teams in the NL East and six teams in the wild-card race. Many other organizations may see this as a chance to make a move, but not the Marlins.

Record: 45-47, nine games out of the NL East, three behind third-place Philadelphia and three-and-a-half behind the second-place Mets. Six games back in the wild card.
President of Baseball Operations:  Larry Beinfest
Expectations: None. Really, how many people would notice if the Marlins moved from South Florida? If anything, the Marlins have more of an eye on 2012 when their new stadium opens.
Payroll status: The Marlins had an opening day payroll of more than $47 million, but just $18.75 million tied up in 2011.

What they have to offer

Dan Uggla (.277/.364/.467) is a free agent after the 2011 season, but the Marlins know they can get more for him now rather than next July. He's been mentioned as a match for the Rockies -- and he'd do great at Coors Field, but the Marlins may need to hang on to him…. he's no prize defensively, but he can flat rake.

It also makes financial sense for the Marlins to hold on to Uggla. The Marlins are the only team in the majors with a salary floor, because of an agreement they reached without the players union in January. Josh Johnson is slated to make $7.5 million in 2011 and with another chunk of money going to Uggla -- who is making $7.8 this season and is arbitration eligible -- the Marlins could satisfy their part of the agreement with the union without overpaying for a player on the free-agent market.

That could be bad news for not only the Rockies, but also the Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers, Braves and Phillies, who have been rumored to have interest in Uggla. He will likely get dealt by the deadline -- next year's deadline.

So who may get dealt?

Jorge Cantu (.261/.311/.417) has cooled since his white-hot start to the season, but is still a proven RBI producer, Cantu has 53 RBI so far this season. He's played third and first base this year, but is a better fit for an American League team looking for help at the DH spot. A free agent after the season and owed the rest of his $6 million salary for 2010, he could be a bargain for teams -- like the Angels or White Sox -- not looking to spend what it takes for a guy like Adam Dunn or Derrek Lee. He'd also be a nice piece for the Yankees and could certainly provide some pop off the bench.

Wes Helms (.241/.296/.388) is an option for teams wanting some of what Cantu provides without the price tag. Helms is making less than $1 million this year and is a free agent after the season. He'd be a rental player, but it's cheap rent and won't upset a clubhouse or make anyone nervous about their future with the team. Like Cantu, he can play first, third or DH.

Cody Ross Cody Ross (.280/.332/.408) is one of the more attractive outfielders on the market. He's arbitration eligible at the end of the season and making just $4.45 million this year. He'll get a good raise for 2011. With Chris Coghlan, Cameron Maybin, Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton, the Marlins could part with the 29-year old Ross. The Red Sox and Yankees reportedly have had preliminary discussions with the Marlins about Ross. The Braves are also interested.

Leo Nunez (3-2, 2.79 ERA, 22 saves) is attractive to any team looking for relief pitching, which is basically any team that considers itself still in the race. Relief pitching is scarce and expensive near the deadline, which makes Nunez more valuable. He's making just $2 million this year and is arbitration eligible after the season.

Ricky Nolasco (9-7, 4.66) is under team control for two more seasons, which makes him attractive to both the Marlins and suitors. He's making $3.8 million this season and is eligible for arbitration. He's been decent, but should receive a budget-busting raise in the offseason. Some reports have said he's available and others say the Marlins want to keep him.

Nate Robertson (6-7, 5.10) is a free agent after the season, but he's very cheap for the Marlins, despite his $10 million pricetag for this season. The Tigers are paying $9.6 million of his salary.

What they want in return?

The Marlins feel pretty good about their future outfield, with Stanton, Maybin and Morrison and if Ross is moved, expect Coghlan to move to third base. Rookie first baseman Gabby Sanchez is playing well and the shortstop spot is more than ably handled, so the team will likely be looking for arms in return or maybe a catching prospect -- really, not that much different than what every team wants.

Uggla stays put and Helms is dealt to the Yankees. Cantu's name pops up a couple of places, but he's not moved. The asking price is too high for Ross and the team is stuck with him.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

More trade deadline chatter -- Buyers: New York Yankees

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 18, 2010 6:22 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2010 9:28 pm

Rockies looking to be active in trades

Ty Wigginton The Rockies are certainly one of the most active teams in trade rumors.

They've been linked to Dan Uggla for weeks, but as Troy Renck of the Denver Post notes , it's unlikely Uggla heads to Colorado.

Why? Because the second baseman is expensive in both salary and cost, the Marlins are considering retaining him and Uggla isn't crazy about playing third base which he may be asked to do in Colorado.

That makes Ty Wigginton (pictured) a more iikely target as the Rockies want to save up their trade pieces for a frontline starter like Dan Haren or a longterm solution at first base. While the team would love a frontline starter, it won't go balls to the wall for one as it has to balance winning with the future, given its inability to spend like the behemoths on the east coast.

Would they give up a ton for Haren? Absolutely. Would they overpay? That's a no. And for Arizona to move Haren, an overpay is what it will take as Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated notes .

The Rox are also monitoring the relief department, keying in on Kevin Gregg and Octavio Dotel. Dotel, a free agent and on a rebuilding club, would cost far less than Gregg who has an affordable club option on his deal. However, even Dotel isn't eminently available, meaning the Rockies will have to shoot lower. Could that mean David Aardsma or a middle relief-type from the Jays such as Jason Frasor?

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 18, 2010 2:24 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2010 3:12 pm

Marlins may not want to move Uggla

Dan Uggla Ever since Troy Tulowitzki went down with a fractured wrist -- and even before that -- Dan Uggla has been linked to the Rockies as a logical fit.

Considering Uggla's final year of team control is 2011 and is making a pretty $8 million on the year, anyone could be excused for thinking the former Rule 5 pick should have his bags packed.

Except the Marlins may not want to move Uggla, and -- surprise, surprise -- may want to retain him after 2011, reports Joe Frisaro of MLB.com's Trade Buzz.

These aren't your slightly older twin brother's Marlins.

The Marlins value Uggla's leadership off the field, and his team-leading 16 home runs don't hurt either. While his raw power is the lowest it's been since his rookie year, he's seeing more balls fly over the fence rather than rattle around for doubles. His .283 batting average would represent a career high. That offense is more than enough to overlook his slightly below-average defense at the keystone position.

That doesn't mean the Fish won't listen on Uggla. After all, he remains an increasingly pricey player on the wrong side of 30. But it is becoming more apparent that with a new park, uniform and team color changes along with the name -- from Florida to Miami -- that the Marlins will start holding onto more and more of their valuable players that can contribute to a winning team.

The Players Association may have censured Florida in the offseason which was a driving factor toward signing Josh Johnson to an extension, but overall, the Marlins are ramping up payroll to debut their new park in 2012 with a bang.

Players more eminently available are Jorge Cantu and Wes Helms, the latter of whom probably won't even be an active player in 2012. The Yankees have exhibited interest in the pinch-hitter, while Cantu would provide teams desperate for a corner infield right-handed bat. Hello, Rangers.

Don't expect any trades until later on, though. Frisaro notes the team is in the middle of a 10-game homestand concluding on the 25th and no moves are expected prior to that. Got to give the hometown crowd its sendoff.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: July 14, 2010 11:31 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2010 11:14 am

Nine questions for second half

The first half is in the books, and the NL has home-field advantage in the World Series. Now, all that's left is finding out who changes zip codes at the trade deadline and which teams are left standing in October.

Below are nine questions for the second half to answer ...

Are the Padres for real?

The Padres are currently in first place with a 51-37 record, two games ahead of the Dodgers. However, they're doing so on luck, ranking 22nd in runs scored and with a MLB-leading 3.27 ERA. Their 3.81 xFIP suggest there's plenty of regression to be had, and while that xFIP also tops the league, it's the third biggest disparity in the bigs. And San Diego cannot afford regression in its strength. To stay on top, additional help needs to be brought in. Other questions include the surging White Sox, the sexy-sleeper-who-wasn't-supposed-to-be-this-good Reds and the Mets, who will be bolstered by the addition of Carlos Beltran.

Who will be the biggest name traded at the deadline?

There's always a surprise in store, but the early favorite is Florida's Dan Uggla. The Marlins are sliding out of the pennant race and have a second-baseman making $8 million for the penny-pinchers. Uggla will be a nice commodity as he remains under team control for 2011 is having yet another strong season. The Rockies are closely linked to Uggla, but he could end up on any team -- including suitors who may be eyeing him for third base. Don't rule out Adam Dunn being shipped; the White Sox would love to add him to the fold.

Can the Red Sox and Phillies stay afloat?

Boston and Philadelphia have been rocked by injuries, and while plenty of players have stepped in admirably, one can only get by for so long with replacement parts before feeling the sting. One benefit to players going down with injuries is that both teams will eventually be bolstered by returns, but until then, one of three things will happen: 1) Most players will play over their head, 2) Everyone will begin playing to their true level and 3) Trades to bring in complementary pieces will happen. Going with No. 1 is the most foolhardy thing one could do.

Who will be the next impact player from the minor leagues?

There's been a ton of graduations from Triple-A to the majors lately, and that doesn't figure to change in the second half. Domonic Brown could give the Phillies some offense, while Desmond Jennings could do the same for the Rays. How about Aroldis Chapman coming out of the bullpen breathing fire for the Reds or Jeremy Hellickson strengthening the Rays rotation? Could Brett Wallace help usher in a new era in Toronto alongside new shortstop Yunel Escobar? Or will the promotion of Chris Sale to Triple-A serve as a harbinger for a major-league promotion to help the White Sox stay atop the AL Central?

Are the Orioles this bad?

While the O's were overrated entering the year, no one could have expected a 29-59 record at the All-Star break. Now that they have gotten rid of the chaff (goodbye, Garrett Atkins) and are on the verge of getting Felix Pie back, they should play significantly better to the point where it's questionable if they end up with the No. 1 overall pick in 2011's amateur draft. (Key word: Should.) Cleveland and Pittsburgh have better chances of playing worse than Baltimore. It's hard to imagine the O's remaining pathetic, but in a division where the No. 4 team has a 44-45 record, the going will be tough. Another storyline to follow with the Orioles is who the new manager will be -- all indications point to Buck Showalter.

Will Bryce Harper sign with the Nationals?

The signing deadline for prospects is August 16, and many signings will take place around that time. It's hard to imagine Harper turning down an opportunity to get into pro ball right away -- after all, every move of his to date has been with that goal in mind. For Washington's part, there's been a ton of good feelings surrounding the team lately. By failing to sign another young phenom, the Nats' armor would be dented. The move makes too much sense for both sides. The Pirates should ink Jameson Taillon, but can the Dodgers prove everyone wrong that the selection of Zach Lee wasn't motivated by finances? Lee is considered virtually unsignable, and the Dodgers have money woes. Probably not, but it will be just as intriguing a storyline as Harper's decision.

Can anyone hit 40 home runs?

Currently, Jose Bautista leads the majors in homers with 24. He's on pace to end up with 44, but regression to the mean figures to hit Bautista severely in the second half. Josh Hamilton, Adam Dunn, Miguel Cabrera and Joey Votto all rank second with 22, and all have excellent chances of cracking 40 -- but it's far from certain. And if Albert Pujols can get hot -- he's on pace for just his third season with an OPS under 1.000 out of 10 -- watch out. The best chance of anyone? Dunn, if he goes to the White Sox or another park kind to big boppers.

Can the Year of the Pitcher continue?

There have been two no-hitters and two official perfect games (one unofficial) so far on the year. It's an unheard of mark, and will be fascinating to see if the trend can continue. There are plenty of quality pitchers on the mound and hitters have looked overmatched all year long. Which is why baseball could very well see someone not hit 40 home runs in a season. Keep your eye on this list -- one of those may be celebrating on a mound near you.

Pay attention to Josh Johnson of the Marlins as well, who has a scant 1.70 ERA and would be the first pitcher since Roger Clemens in 2005 (1.87) to have an ERA below 2.00 if he keeps this up.

Who will win the playoff races?

The AL East has quite the three-way battle brewing between the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox. Two are certain to get into the playoffs thanks to the wild card. One will be playing golf in October. While the Red Sox are currently in third place, more advanced standings suggest Boston should be in second place, while the Yankees are just a few key injuries away from their older and productive stars from tumbling off a cliff. The White Sox, Tigers and Twins are locked in their own-three way battle. And don't count the Angels out of the West just yet.

Over in the NL, Atlanta has a nice lead, but the Mets and Phillies refuse to die, the Central has what promises to be an entertaining seesaw battle between the Cardinals and Reds, and the NL West is anyone's game -- well, except for the Diamondbacks. Will a Game 163 be played again this year? With so many tight races, the odds are strong.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 4, 2010 6:00 pm

Marlins beginning to think about selling

Dan Uggla The Florida Marlins are slipping out of contention and may be making some players available. Joe Frisaro of MLB.com notes that except for Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson, any player who is eligible for arbitration and free agency can be available.

Frisaro notes that such players include Jorge Cantu, Ricky Nolasco, Cody Ross and Dan Uggla.

Cantu, who nailed 100 RBI exactly last year, is a free agent after the season who can play first and third. He's hitting .265/.318/.434 on the year and could grab the attention of the Texas Rangers. A Type B free agent, Cantu would give the Rangers a compensatory draft pick if he left via free agency -- but only if Texas offered arbitration. Unless Cantu picks it back up to the 25-home run power he once displayed, however, the Rangers would certainly pass as he could command over $10 million in arbitration.

Nolasco is just 27 and has been unlucky for the second year in a row, flashing an ERA around 5 when his peripherals indicate that his ERA should be a full run lower, if not more. The Marlins certainly know this and won't be giving Nolasco away for pennies on the dollar -- teams will have to pay for how well Nolasco has pitched, not how well his games have turned out. For this reason, it's unlikely that any team will match up with Florida. Nolasco has one year of arbitration left.

Ross is an intriguing bat who is serviceable against right-handers and completely annilihates lefties. Boston has been linked to him for quite a while now, but many teams would love to have Ross start or in a luxurious position as a fourth outfielder. He has an extra year of arbitration before he can become a free agent. Even though the Red Sox have been linked to Ross before, it's unclear if there is a fit -- Darnell McDonald can be considered a poor man's Cody Ross and despite the tattered outfield, Boston has more pressing needs.

Dan Uggla (pictured), making $8 million in his final year of free agency, could be attractive to teams in need of a second- or third-baseman. That means Boston, Colorado and Philadelphia will inevitably be linked to the two. Of the three, the Phillies make the most sense because they have the longest-term need (Chase Utley will miss all of July and August at the very least) and the most money available what with Boston bumping up against the luxury tax. Other teams in need of a bat, such as the Rangers, will certainly inquire.

The best thing for all teams with multiple needs is for Florida to continue falling out of contention. The Marlins would then enter a semi-rebuilding phase and there would be plenty available to suit near every team's need. In addition to the four names above, Frisaro notes that pinch-hitter Wes Helms and back-of-the-rotation starter Nate Robertson would be available. There are certainly other candidates to be moved as well. Despite a tattered bullpen, closer Leo Nunez and relievers Clay Hensley and Brian Sanches would draw interest.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 22, 2010 1:17 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2010 1:39 pm

Rockies keeping eye on 2B market

Dan Uggla The Rockies are keeping an eye on the second base market with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki out for about two months with a wrist injury.

You might be puzzled as to why Colorado is looking for second basemen and not shortstops if short has the vacancy, but the answer is really quite simple.

Even when Tulowitzki was healthy, the Rockies were reportedly looking for a second baseman to replace incumbent Clint Barmes. Now that Tulo's out, Barmes has shifted to short, opening up a gaping hole at second. If and when second is filed (whether internally by someone such as Eric Young, Jr. currently working his way back from injury or externally), Barmes can remain at short. Then, upon Tulo's return, the Rockies have the infield alignment they were targeting all along.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Colorado is "keeping an eye on Dan Uggla and Ty Wigginton." He notes that the Rockies have the prospects to swing a deal, which is important when considering Uggla is a Marlin and Wigginton is part of the rebuilding Orioles.

Uggla would give the Rockies some thump in the middle of the order. Wigginton would too, although his current offensive success is somewhat of a fluke. What he loses in offense compared to Uggla, however, he gains in defensive versatality, being able to play all over the diamond.

Colorado is currently 36-33, four games out of first place.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 21, 2010 7:22 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2010 8:02 pm

Rockies looking at Uggla, Wigginton

Troy Renck of the Denver Post says (via Twitter) that the Rockies, reeling from the loss of top hitter Troy Tulowitzki, are looking at acquiring an infielder. He said they are keeping an eye on the Marlins' Dan Uggla and the Orioles' Ty Wigginton, both of whom are pending free agents for teams going nowhere and could presumably be had for a decent prospect.

Tulowitzki suffered a broken wrist last week and is out for six weeks. The Rockies moved Clint Barmes from second base to shortstop and brought up rookie Chris Nelson to play second.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com