Monday, November 15, 2010

His name is Dan Uggla...Do we want him?

Not to be THAT GUY (or to sound like him for a few moments), but Dan Uggla is a much better fantasy baseball player than a real baseball player.

(And now, we duck.)

There is little disputing that Uggla is a productive, middle of the order bat who puts up big numbers in a huge ballpark. The thought of him getting 81 games at the Rogers SkyDomey Centre makes our butt cheeks twitch. Would 40 homers be out of the question? Would he and José Bautista become modern day Bash Brothers? Would they push Vernon Wells, Aaron Hill and Adam Lind further down the order where they probably belong in the first place? The sunshiney happy daydreams that we're having right now say: "INDUBITABLY!"

But what concerns us about Uggla is that we're not sure that there's a place on the diamond where you can hide him, and given the number of DHs that the Jays are carrying, that's a bit of a problem.

(There's also that minor case of Aubrey Huff Syndrome that Uggla has, where every second season is a bit of a down year...His is not a full-on breakout of the disease, but his OPS has see-sawed a bit over his short career: .818, .805, .874, .813, .877. Are we ready to give up a quality prospect for one season of .820 OPS?)

The notion floated out there already has him moving to third, as though it is a simple shift to move a mediocre second baseman (-22 career UZR, -4.5 career UZR/150) over to the hot corner. (And Uggla, from our remembrances, has problems with hands and feet as opposed to his arm, which would not look any better at third).

It's probably too early to be voting yay or nay on a deal that has yet to get beyond Buster Onley's BlackBerry. Still, we're hopeful that AA won't give up too much of the future for one potentially good season and two picks.


The Ack said...

Fuck it, Dan Uggla has always kind of been my own Aubrey Huff. I'm in.

Seems a perfect destination for Arencibia, who just does not seem destined to be a Blue Jay. Would require more, obviously....but hopefully not Z Stewart-level more.

jerkstore said...

the only way i can see this making sense is if the prospect package is not too high or if the jays can sign him to play 1st base.

Tao of Stieb said...

First base would make sense...although Uggla's got lousy hands. I just wonder if there is a place where you can stash him where he doesn't hurt you in the field.

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

I agree with you completely. Plus the guy has an over-inflated view of himself by turning down a guaranteed $48 mil over four years. He can't field, his hitting is streaky.

The only plus he would add for the Blue Jays is a proven track record of getting his share of walks, something the Blue Jays need more of.

Torgen said...

Arencibia is the answer to a much more difficult question than Uggla, and for more years, and for less money. I don't get why everyone is so eager to part with him.

The Ack said...

I take a little issue with the concept that his hitting is streaky. 5 seasosn of OPS between .805 and .877? HR totals ranging from 27-33? I'd say he's nothing if not consistent offensively. He's not bouncing from a .750 to a .900 level or anything.

I also don't get the "over-inflated view of himself" comment. Because he won't take the Marlins offer? Doesn't seem like a fair comment.

But yeah, defensively? Bad news...but at the absolute worst, wouldn't he be an absolute best-case scenario of Encarnacion at 3B? Dollars notwithstanding, of course.

Torgen - I'm not eager to part with him, but seems like the team might be. That's all I'm saying. AA has made it known that Arencibia has nothing left to prove in the minors, but can you see him starting for the Jays at catcher next season? At 1B? Mix in the talk about being willing to trade just seems to add up that the front office views him as a primary trade chip this winter. My interpretation only, of course.

Torgen said...

I've seen enough other teams in this division hand starting jobs to rookies out of spring training (or close enough that it made no difference) that I can totally see Arencibia as the starting catcher next year.

jerkstore said...

obviously a middle of the order featuring bautista-lind-uggla is very tempting.

3 guys in a row who can take walks!!!!

move hill to third and sign O-dog. Now you have escobar and hudson 1-2. 5 guys in a row who can take some walks!!!!

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

2010 - April: .898
May: .870
June: .723
July: 1.009
August: .926
Sept: .853

2009 - April: .745
May: .745
June: .840
July: .726
August: .949
Sept: .845

2008 - April: .801
May: 1.251
June: .932
July: .673
August: .704
Sept: .804

2010 was probably his most even-keel season. You are correct, of course that his end results come out not as flaky. But even as Tao pointed out, his every other year fluctuation of 60 points of OPS are also bothersome.

As per the salary comment, $48 mil over four years in a state with no income taxes is a really nice deal for a guy who will be 31. Depending on his fluctuating seasons, he's been worth between $10 mil to $15 per season. Baseball Prospectus sees his value to average about $12.9 mil per season for the next four years. Buster Olney reported that one GM said that he wouldn't give Uggla $50 for four years.

Jonathan Reimer said...

I don't buy this rumor. Buster Onley arrives at Toronto being the obvious destination because AA "has shown that Uggla is the kind of player he likes - players with lots of power." AA seems to liken the Jays 2010 roster as being AA's construction. Of course, the power culprits of 2010 (Bautista, Wells, Encarnacion, Hill) were not AA's doing; only Buck was AA's signing. AA has proven himself to like players quite different than Uggla - players that are athletics, strong defenders, can play up-the-middle positions, players that are either long-term controllable or short-term flexible.

Another point: AA's past deals have not been those widely reported by the media. Therein gives me more reason to think this is a smoke screen.

Uggla does not match up with any of AA's needs, nor does he contribute to a long-term competitive team (unless has signs a team-friendly long-term deal). I think this rumor is bunk.

Tao of Stieb said...

Good point, Jonathan...We might be getting way too far ahead of ourselves on this. It's really just a whim of Onley's that we've totally bought into.

Other concern with Uggla: Strikes out way too much. Goes into deep slumps, as William's numbers point out.

The Ack said...

y'know, I'm not even really fully advocating a run at Uggla, but I think he'd be a nice addition. That said, I'm not ready to give up this consistent/inconsistent thing....

what in William's numbers point to deep slumps? One month in 2010 with a sub-.800 OPS? Going back 2 seasons, his lowest monthly OPS is .723....which isn't great, but not bad considering it's his worst monthly result. I mean, we aren't talking about acquiring Pujols, here.

And I wonder about the context of those monthly stats - how do they stack up against other comparable "end of year numbers" players?

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

Okay, Ack, I'll meet you this far. The OPS stats don't swing as wildly each month as does the batting average which I could have used, but didn't. The OPS has some swing to it (much like many players as you suggest), but he consistently hits 3 to 8 homers a month and walks 15 to 25 times which tends to smooth out streak shere he can't hit the broad side of a barn. I spend weeks in Florida each summer and watch him every night and he really is a hot/cold kind of guy...that consistently gets his homers each month and his walks.

The Ack said...

Wait, how dare you use personal observation in your argument!! Thanks for that, William.

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

Bwahahaha. I'm a geezer...and sabermetrics is stupid ;)

Peter D said...

I think a Dan Uggla deal would be a nice strategic move depending on who you would have to give up to get him. After all, your not just getting one year of Dan Uggla, you are also most likely getting two first round draft picks in the 2012 draft when he signs elsewhere as a free agent.

I'd probably trade Arencibia straight up for 2 first round picks (if that was legal). His Rod Barajas like projection isn't a huge loss.

Peter D said...

Anyone else confused as to why the Jays let Taylor Buchholz get away? Isn't this team going to need to find bullpen guys with the loss of Frasor, Gregg, Downs, Tallet, etc.

Anonymous said...

Peter D's first comment, above, is the reason I wouldn't go for Uggla. We'd be giving up prospects and perhaps an MLB player for 1 year of Uggla (and are we really going to compete next year?) and a draft pick or two, or none, if Uggla tanks (though nothing really suggest that he'd tank, but hey, it's been known to happen). It just doesn't seem to fit into AA's plan of building to be consistently competitive.

Peter D said...

In my opinion, it all comes down to the teams expectations for the prospect they would have to give up.

In reality, the risk of Dan Uggla tanking is probably a lot less than the prospect they give up tanking.

Anonymous said...

For the ones so anxious to trade Arencibia, you should compare his stats in Dunedin to D'Arnaud's...You should also be aware D'Arnaud didn't play after July 31st because he suffered his 2nd back injury of the year...Jeroloman isn't MLB material and Chavez is at least 3 years away, but he'll probably be moved to 3rd base from catcher...Point is, we'd better all hope JP makes it unless you want a Molina/Buck type combination for the next 3-4 years, cause D'Arnaud is no longer a sure thing.

Anonymous said...

40 man roster might be needed to hide all of the talent coming through the Jays' farm system right now. Players will need to be protected or they will be snatched up by other clubs.

Andrew said...

I'm not so concerned about whether or not Uggla is streaky. I think he's a good hitter whose bat would be a useful addition to the Jays' lineup in 2011. However, true as it may be that the Jays are willing to move JPA, or any other prospect, I think that they'll only do so for the right player, and I don't think Uggla is it.

The concern was raised earlier, but where does he play? He's undoubtedly a worse option at second base than Hill, and it's hardly a given that he can make a seamless transition to one of the corner infield spots.

If the Jays are looking at picking up a guy whose only contributions will come with the bat, I'd rather see them make a run at someone like Manny, Huff, Berkman, etc., rather than give up prospects for Uggla.