To trade Dan Uggla, the Braves will either have to eat most of his remaining contract ($18 to $20 million of the $26 mil he’s still owed) or package him with affordable, attractive talent. Bad options, but retaining Uggla is a worse one.
Uggla, Kris Medlen and David Hale to Toronto for R.A. Dickey, Brett Lawrie and Jeremy Jeffress
Medlen, an Office favorite, met expectations this year — realistic expectations, somewhere between his 2012 season and the ones that came before. I’d hate to see him go, but he’s a free agent in 2016, beating Minor by two years and Teheran by three. Do you really think he’ll be re-signed?
The Jays could use some pitchers under 35. Since their bid to return to relevancy went flat, it doesn’t make much sense to build around a 39-year-old due $24 million over the next two years. That’s $2 million less than Uggla — I’d be glad to start collection to make up the difference. Dickey was a disappointment in 2013, but he wasn’t striking out 177 in 224.2 innings with a 4.21 ERA. He’d probably benefit from a return to the NL, and the Braves’ track record with aging knuckleballers is pretty good.
Lawrie’s BA, OBP and slugging percentage have decreased each year. But he’s still only 23 and was much better in the second half last year, hitting .283 with a .764 OPS. There was talk last year of moving him to second and he’s got the athleticism to make the switch. He can’t be worse than Uggla,
Hale may be a sleeper, but it’s more likely that his value may never be higher. Jeffress has a great arm but nothing to show for it but a couple of drug suspensions.
This would leave the Braves with an estimated $15 to $20 million — enough to fortify the rotation and bench.