It's official…the baseball offseason is finally under way.
With GM meetings going on in Orlando, the action finally got started today with the Marlins finding a trading partner for Dan Uggla.
Jerry Crasnick is reporting via Twitter that the Atlanta Braves have acquired Uggla for utility man Omar Infante and left-handed reliever Mike Dunn.
So how does this impact his fantasy value for 2011?
As an owner of Uggla in my most important keeper league, I have obviously been quite interested in his landing spot.
Sadly, the Rockies did not revive their long-rumored interest in the stocky second baseman.
Atlanta is about as uninteresting as a destination can be for Uggla in that it probably does not significantly affect his value one way or the other.
On the plus side, Turner Field in Atlanta yields a few more home runs than Sun Life Stadium in Miami, but Uggla’s splits do not indicate that his home ballpark as a Marlin was holding him back in a big way.
In just under 3,000 at-bats over the last five seasons, Uggla hit .261 at home and only .266 on the road with 78 home runs at home and 76 on the road. Moreover, RBI opportunities and run totals do not figure to receive a significant boost by going from Florida’s lineup to Atlanta’s as the two were fairly similar offensive teams in 2010.
The most important consideration may be Uggla’s playing time. You have to think that Atlanta would not trade for Uggla unless they planned on him being an everyday player, but with Chipper Jones, Martin Prado, Alex Gonzalez, and rookie Freddie Freeman sure to see substantial infield time, it is possible that Uggla may see a few more days off than fantasy owners would like.
There has been some talk of Uggla seeing time in the outfield, but as big of a defensive liability as he is, you should not count on added outfield eligibility in 2011.
Of course, all the playing time worries will surely be assuaged when Chipper goes down in Spring Training, Prado moves permanently to third, and Uggla becomes the only second baseman to hit 30 home runs in five consecutive seasons (he is already the only one to do it in four straight).
Ultimately, the pros and cons of Uggla are the same as they were yesterday. Whether in Florida or Atlanta, he is still a 30-homer guy that could hit .245 or .285.
Written by Brett Talley exclusively for thefantasyfix.com. Brett is a law student in Dallas who is counting down the days until he can do baseball mock drafts in class. You can follow him on Twitter @therealTAL.
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