Two years ago, when the Braves locked up Dan Uggla with a five-year, 62 million deal following a November trade, the general consensus was the team had solidified the middle of its lineup for years to come. At the time, it was the biggest payout the organization had given to a player in nearly a decade.
In 2012, that contract is a headache.
The power-hitting second baseman has not performed up to the level of an eight-digit salary in Atlanta hitting just .227 (including a 103 OPS, just barely above league average) with 55 home runs. Though his defense and base-running were respectable in 2012, his bat just cannot find the same pop it had when he was a standout for the Miami Marlins. At this point, it looks like the Braves went into the trade market and bought high. Too high.
And even so, Uggla was an All-Star last season on the strength of fan voting theres no denying his popularity in Atlanta, despite his numbers and the relative dearth of quality second basemen in baseball. ...