Uggla, Marlins at an impasse
Club persistent after second baseman rejects four-year offer
MIAMI -- If a long-term deal is not reached, Dan Uggla's long-range tenure with the Marlins may be in jeopardy.
MLB.com has confirmed that the power-hitting second baseman has rejected a four-year, $48 million extension.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com initially reported that Uggla was turning down one of the largest offers in Marlins history. The story added that the team was "stunned" by the rejection.
MLB.com has learned that the Marlins may seriously consider trading the 30-year-old if a multiyear contract isn't worked out. According to a source familiar with the negotiations, Florida has been led to believe that Uggla would rather play for another club.
A second source added that both sides are still talking and that negotiations are ongoing, so it is premature to suggest that a long-term deal won't eventually be reached.
Uggla's agent, Terry Bross of Gaylord Sports Management, said Monday that Uggla's preference is to stay with the Marlins.
"Dan is not angling to get out of Florida," said Bross, who did not give specifics on negotiations.
Uggla, 30, has one more season of arbitration eligibility remaining. He made $7.8 million in 2010.
If a multiyear contract isn't worked out, the Marlins may opt to sign Uggla to a one-year deal in 2011 and keep him the entire season. The team could then be in position to receive Draft pick compensation if he moves on as a free agent.
A more realistic choice could be to seek a trade for Uggla either before Spring Training 2011 or by the non-waiver Trade Deadline next July 31.
Uggla, the Marlins' all-time home run leader with 154, is coming off his best season. The slugger belted 33 homers and drove in 105 runs, to go along with a .287 batting average.
Retaining their gritty second baseman has been a high priority for the Marlins since last July, when negotiations initially began.
Uggla has been hitting home runs at a historic rate for a player at his position, with a Major League record of four seasons of 30 or more. Also, Uggla's power numbers stack up with free-agent outfielder Jayson Werth, most recently of the Philadelphia Phillies, who is looking for a bigger contract than the relatively comparable Uggla.
If Uggla re-ups for four years, it would in effect be a three-year extension in addition to his 2011 season. Uggla would then be 34 years old when he became a free agent, and he might be more inclined to wait until next season is over to cash in on a longer-term deal.
FOXSports.com also suggested that Uggla might be interested in playing for the Yankees, Red Sox or Phillies, but those three teams are set at second base, with three of the best players in the game in Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia and Chase Utley, respectively. The site wrote that Uggla might be willing to switch positions to third base or the outfield to accommodate one of those perennial contenders after next year.
A year ago, the Marlins pursued trade talks for Uggla, but his market was limited at that time.
On the free-agent market, the Mets would be one of the few teams that could afford to take on a $12 million second baseman.