Late Tuesday afternoon, the Florida Marlins announced that they traded All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla to the Atlanta Braves for utility infielder Omar Infante and left-handed pitcher Mike Dunn. In a surprising move, the Blue Jays, originally thought to be the best trade partners for the Marlins, lost out in the sweepstakes.
Uggla, who batted .287 last season with 33 home runs and 105 RBI, enjoyed a career year, but was in the midst of a nasty contract negotiation with the Marlins. Having already turned down a lucrative four-year, $48 million deal with the Marlins, the Marlins appeared willing to trade him for whatever they could get.
The Marlins received Omar Infante, who hit .321 last season with eight home runs and 47 RBI, as well as lefty Mike Dunn, who only pitched 19 innings for the Braves last season, recording a 2-0 record and a 1.89 ERA in 25 games.
As an outsider, I question the motives behind such a move for the Marlins. Why trade Uggla to a division rival? What was the reason behind straying away from their original demands of a top prospect and a starting pitcher?
I just fully question this move, and not because the Blue Jays did not get him, but rather as sympathy towards Marlins fans everywhere. Infante is a decent all-around player with good bat skills, and will probably be a good two-hole hitter for the Marlins, but in the end, they traded their All-Star second baseman for a super utility player and a reliever.
From the good old days, when they would trade soon to be free agents for young prospects, like Hanley Ramirez and others, to today, when they trade all stars for depth players, and young players for more bullpen help (Cameron Maybin trade), I really am beginning to question the Marlins management at the moment.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays offered prospect closers Josh Roenicke and Danny Farquhar along with the Marlins choice of shortstop Ryan Goins or center fielder Darin Mastroianni.
It's arguable who had the better deal, but the fact remains, Infante is a defensive upgrade over Uggla; however, Infante is coming off a career season and the Braves so adequately dealt him while his value was high. Infante also has never held down a starting role with any ball club since 2005.
The Braves did not have to give up any of their talented pitching prospects, such as right-handers Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado and Arodys Vizcaino and lefty Mike Minor.
In other related Jays and Marlins news, the Blue Jays lost John Buck to the Marlins via free agency, signing the free agent catcher to a new three-year, $18 million deal.
Buck, who also hit 20 home runs for the Blue Jays last season, leaves the club for his third major league team, having played with the Blue Jays and Royals previous.
Your reaction to the no deal from the Marlins and losing catcher John Buck? I want to hear your thoughts.