It’s been almost two weeks since a warmed up Craig Kimbrel watched an 0-2 curveball fly into the left field stands in Game 4 of the NLDS and I’ve got to say, my biggest frustration with the team remains to be Dan Uggla.
Sure, Fredi Gonzalez could have brought in Kimbrel during the highest-leverage situation of the entire season; David Carpenter could have easily not thrown a hanging curveball to a hitter who just tried and failed to bunt twice, and B.J. Upton’s $75.25 million contract did a lot of good as he watched the game from the bench.
However, of all the hardships and shortcomings, of all the weakness that were exploited, none compare to the cancer that Uggla was to the Atlanta Braves‘ lineup and defense.
The Cincinnati Reds are believed to be shopping second basemen Brandon Phillips who, like Uggla, has a lot of time and money left of his contract. Uggla is signed to Atlanta through 2015 with a five-year, $62 million contract while Philliips is signed through 2017 on a 10-year, $98 million deal.
After hitting 103 RBIs in 2013, one wonders why the Reds would look to move Phillips; it may be related to some issues he had with the organization after they signed Joey Votto to a $251.5 million contract. This deal works great for the Braves because trading Uggla to any other team would no doubt require them to eat a large portion of his contract, as no one would be willing to pay that much money for the shadow of the former Uggla.
Since the Reds would have to eat Phillips’ contract too, this deal could end up great for both teams. Phillips is far more valuable in every aspect than Uggla, so the Braves would likely have to trade a top-tier prospect to make the deal happen.
I don’t see this as a problem with the necessity of replacing Uggla being among the forefront of the team’s offseason goals and with Atlanta’s decent pool of young talent.
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