Nov 14, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT
The following scenario is completely hypothetical and should not be taken as an actual rumor, much less a completed deal.
Rays acquire second baseman Dan Uggla from the Marlins for outfielder B.J. Upton and shortstop Jason Bartlett.
Why it works for Tampa Bay: The Rays finished third in the AL in runs scored last season, but the team was sixth in homers and eighth in slugging percentage. With Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena both potentially leaving in free agency, the team needs to add some power and Uggla hit five more homers last season than anyone on the Rays. He has four straight 30-homer seasons to his credit. Top prospect Desmond Jennings and Reid Brignac can replace Upton and Bartlett, respectively.
Why it works for Florida: The Marlins don’t need to save money in an Uggla deal. In all likelihood, they’d get trouble in with the MLBPA again if they didn’t spend Uggla’s money elsewhere. Upton and Bartlett combined to make $7 million last year, while Uggla came in at $7.8 million. Both newcomers would be due raises in arbitration, but not major ones after down years. Upton would give the team a high-upside center fielder to replace the one they just parted with Saturday. Bartlett could step in at second base for a year and potentially provide a big upgrade on defense.
Why it won’t happen: While I like the idea of Upton for Florida, Bartlett probably isn’t worth his $4 million-$5 million salary, particularly if he’s not playing shortstop. The deal would look a lot better for the Marlins with Brignac included instead, but that’d be too much for the Rays to give up for one year of Uggla, particuarly when Uggla is going to making $10 millon-$12 million and eating up a good portion of the team’s financial flexibility.
- Must-click link: surviving spring training on $0 a day 0
- Your Official HardballTalk World Series Preview 14
- World Series Reset: Game 1 — finally! — is tonight 14
- HBT Daily: How the Royals and Giants were built 4
- Two radio stations in San Francisco are refusing to play Lorde’s “Royals” during the World Series 40
- Royals tab James Shields, Yordano Ventura to start first two games of World Series 1
- Brian Roberts is retiring 13
- So, if you’re not a fan of the Royals or Giants, who ya got? 119
- So, if you’re not a fan of the Royals or Giants, who ya got? (119)
- Pedro Martinez has some opinions about who the new “face of baseball” is (106)
- “The Kansas City Royals Are the Future of Baseball” — someone actually said that. (93)
- Andrew Friedman leaving the Rays to take over as Dodgers President of Baseball Operations (83)
- Quit making a big deal out of anomalies. Most of what happens is meaningless. (82)