I remember when the Marlins selected Dan Uggla in the rule five draft in 2006, and at the time I was thinking, "Who?" His selection caused a bit of a stir amongst the writers at FishStripes, in that neither of us had any idea how to pronounce his last name. This would of course change as Danny set course to rewrite the Major League history book for home runs by a rookie second baseman. The record stills stands and may for a long while. Danny didn't stop there; he would make new entries every year after that. Most of the records he set were really good, and on a rare occasion he set one that he would probably rather forget. (Most errors in an All-Star game.) But over the years, he never did disappoint with his bat. Oh, sure, he didn't always get the game winning hit when the situation presented itself, but in the aggregate he did produce.
Uggla's 154 home runs are the most by a middle infielder in his first five seasons, in major league history (18 more than Ernie Banks). They also trail only Pujols for most home runs by an NL right-handed hitter in these last five seasons.
Now, the chapter has come to end as far as the Marlins are concerned. Danny is the all-time Marlins home run leader and yesterday he was traded to a rival for next to nothing.
You don't trade a major piece of the team for a utility infielder coming off his career year, which he probably won't be able to duplicate, and a relief pitcher. You just don't do it. There is no way to get fair value in return in that kind of a trade. And the Braves were conscious of that.
When Wren called Tuesday to ask him if he’d trade Infante and Dunn for Uggla, Gonzalez asked who else the Braves would have to include.
"No one else," Wren said, and Gonzalez quickly replied that he’d do it.
"I’m really exited," Gonzalez said. "I already made out about five lineups today. This is a big bat in our lineup, and he’s a tremendous clubhouse guy. As blue-collar as they come. Our fans are going to absolutely fall in love with him. He’s a great teammate, and he plays the game one way — he tries to beat you."
The Marlins front office isn't stupid, though I'm starting to wonder. They know this wasn't a fair trade. It was basically a giveaway to the Braves. However, it does free up more flexibility with the payroll, which I guess became the plan once they felt the team wouldn't be able to sign him. Though it does make one wonder if the Marlins couldn't get fair value, why the heck couldn't have they not gotten fair value with an American League team? Oh, well. No reason to worry about that now, the deal is done.
Bottom line is: Yesterday the Braves became a better team. The Marlins took a step backwards.
Danny will be missed and there is no way to fill the void of his bat being gone. That's a fact. The team needs to be restructured to a style of play which will be most conducive, with the players they have, to make up for the loss of production. This won't be an easy task and changes sometimes are difficult to go through, but it is possible to overcome. However, it may take a long while to figure out how to do it.
Personally, I wish Danny all the best. Except in the 18 games he plays against the Fish.