According to ESPN.com the Atlanta Braves have acquired second baseman Dan Uggla from the Florida Marlins for utility player Omar Infante and relief pitcher Mike Dunn:
"The Atlanta Braves acquired All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla from the Florida Marlins for utilityman Omar Infante and pitcher Mike Dunn on Tuesday in the first trade of the general managers' meetings.
Uggla, 30, has 154 home runs in five seasons with Florida. He's a three-time All-Star and just won his first career Silver Slugger award.
The Marlins elected to move Uggla after they were unable to reach an agreement with him on a long-term contract. He made $7.8 million this year, is eligible for salary arbitration and can become a free agent after the 2011 World Series."
This news comes as a disappointment to Nationals fans who had hoped to land the power hitting second baseman to help bring some pop to a lineup that will likely lose Adam Dunn this winter. Washington had been rumored to be in the mix to acquire Uggla but it seems that their division rival, the Atlanta Braves, were willing to offer the most to land the second baseman.
The Braves gave up two big, MLB ready pieces to land themselves another power bat to place in the middle of the order. Despite claiming the National League Wild Card in 2010, they struggled to find power throughout the season, hitting only 139 homers as a team. Only one batter in the Atlanta roster managed to hit more than 20 homers this year, and with Chipper Jones future uncertain, the Braves needed to make a move for a power hitter like Uggla.
Infante had a career year in 2010, finishing third in the National League in batting with a .321/.359/.403 mark in 134 games for the Braves this season. Yet, despite his high batting totals, Infante only managed to post 2.7 WAR as the result of his anemic power (.096 ISO) and his below average fielding (-1.1 UZR). That was good enough to finish 8th on the team in WAR, which made him expendable for the right bat. The Braves also coughed up Mike Dunn, a hard throwing 25-year-old bullpen prospect who will help provide another arm to what is an already strong pitching staff.
The Braves did an excellent job here selling high on Infante who is a career .274 average and hasn't held a starting job since 2005. In return they get one of the most valuable position players in baseball for at least one season, and a big bat to secure the heart of their order. The Nationals on the other hand are on the outside looking in on what could have been a great opportunity. And for what? A chance to hold on to a pitching prospect that may or may not make the leap to the major league level? Or to hold on to a middle infield prospect who at best will never be what Dan Uggla is now?
It will be interesting to hear what the Nationals would have offered for Uggla. Did it include Espinosa or Desmond? Probably. So what was the piece they weren't willing to give up?
"With a power hitter once again atop the list of the Braves off-season needs, Frank Wren wasted no time filling that need on the first day of the GM Meetings in Orlando. He acquires that power hitter without giving up any of the Braves coveted prospects, and only opening up a hole at the utility infield position -- a spot that should be easily filled." - Talking Chop
"As of now, Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton's cries of "His name is DAN UGGLA!" will no longer incite celebration from Fish fans. In fact, expect the line to incite a string of expletives. " - Fish Stripes