Posted: 12:56 pm Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Can the Braves please just cut Dan Uggla already? 

By Mark Bradley

That classic Uggla swing. (Jason Getz/AJC)

That classic Uggla swing. (Jason Getz/AJC)

Dan Uggla didn’t set out to become the worst player in the major leagues. It just happened. But now that it has happened, the one thing the worst player in the majors can’t be, provided he wants to keep his place in the majors, is a distraction. Poor Dan just flunked that test, too.

On the day before the All-Star break, a day the Atlanta Braves will try to win a game and ensure that they hold at least a share of first place in the National League East, they first had to deal with the 25th man on a 25-man roster. They had to make a roster move — summoning Phil Gosselin from Gwinnett — because they’d suspended their worst player for one game.

Details as to why weren’t immediately forthcoming — it was deemed “an internal matter” — but we know the Braves as a club are famously slow to anger. We also know that Fredi Gonzalez has managed Uggla for at least part of the past eight seasons, for which Fredi G. deserves a special place in managerial Valhalla. But we can assume from the token suspension that Gonzalez’s bottomless reservoir of patience has run dry.

Not to belabor a point made long ago, but the Braves are doing no one a favor by keeping Uggla on their roster — not him, not his teammates, especially not Fredi G. For two months they’ve essentially worked with a 24-man roster. We all know Uggla is only here because he’s still owed $19 million, but that $19 million is a sunken cost. No matter how much the Braves might cross their fingers and hope/wish/pray, no other team will pay a farthing to take this guy off their hands.

The trade deadline arrives in 18 days, but in Uggla’s case it’s meaningless. He’s immovable. The only way he’s going anywhere is if the Braves cut him, which they needed to do two months ago. For the good of all concerned — yes, even poor Dan — they must do it now.

From May: Why the Braves should dump Dan Uggla.

218 comments
Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Bringing up Tyler Pasternicky  to replace Uggla on the bench. Hope GM Wren will follow up this move with a little more help for the bullpen and bench. But with his track record ,he will likely stand pat and just play to stay in NL east and wildcard race. No chance with this squad to advance past their first playoff series. 

pjenks
pjenks

You don't go on a 34 games hitting streak and not be a great hitter. Apparently something went wrong with Uggla's swing (maybe to much waggling that bat).  However, isn't that what you have hitting coaches for?  It's not like you have to teach Uggla how to hit; he already knows that.  A good hitting coach should be able to get him back on track, but the Braves are sadly lacking that!  I'd fire the bozos who call themselves hitting coaches before  got rid of Uggla.  Chipper Jones could get Uggla back in the swing!

OHaveMercy
OHaveMercy

I thought if Dan Uggla had been serious about reviving his career rather than just padding his bank account he would have played winter ball somewhere.  Gattis remade himself in South America.  I realize it would have been a huge punch to the ego for Dan to send himself to the latin league for a stent but why not give it a try.  Work on his swing with pitchers trying to get him out rather than machine and trainers tossing him softballs in the batting cage.  Too late now.  I do think Dan should give his agent a huge bonus for negotiating one of the league's best contracts for arguably one of the league's worst players. 

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Wren should realize that the sooner he releases Dan Uggla the easier is will be to put this bad  contract behind him.By keeping Uggla on the active roster and on the bench it just keeps him and the $19 million he is owed as a distraction for his team mates .Cut him now and he will fade away as just another low point in the history of the Frank Wren Era in Braves history. 

RONMERIDIAN
RONMERIDIAN

With the Braves current payroll situation I would do the following: 1. Release or trade if possible Dan Uggla. 2. Release or trade Schafer. 3. Trade for lefty reliever Miller from Red Sox. 4. Trade for Bonafacio from the Cubs. The lineup as follows:

1. Bonafacio/ B.J. Upton. CF

2. La Stella. 2nd

3. Freeman. 1st

4. J. Upton. LF

5. Heyward. RF

6. Gattis. C

7. Johnson 3rd

8. Simmons. SS

Bench: Laird, Duomit, Bono/B.J., Gosselin, Pena

Rotation: Teheran, Minor, Santana, Woods, Harang

Bullpen: Kimbrel, Walden, Carpenter, S. Simmons, Miller, Hale, J.Jamie

reallygroovy
reallygroovy

The braves need to plAy uggla on this next homestand. To show the wofld he can s tillhit sosomeone like the yankees then uggla can won a world series

BradleyBreeze
BradleyBreeze

This situation is getting awful Fuggly..........................Awful Fuggly!

sea8491
sea8491

What about B J Upton?

NathanChapman
NathanChapman

Tired of hearing folks defend the Braves FO for the Ugly Dan move. Tired of hearing folks say it was impossible to predict that Uggla would perform so poorly. Tired of hearing misinformation about the whole thing. At the time Uggla was brought to Atlanta by Frank Wren, there was a complaint among the obviously more clueless portion of the fanbase that not enough home runs were being hit by the Braves. The idea that baseball was returning to more normal home run proportions across the board clearly had not sunk in with the folks who once stared glassy-eyed at the television screen as Barry Bonds chased Hammerin' Hank's record. The fact that Wren even responded to such complaints indicates a pretty poor understanding of how the game of baseball works. But again, Uggla was brought to Atlanta in some poorly-advised scheme to improve the power production of the current offense. HOWEVER, Uggla was a poor bet at best as he was right at 30, an already heavily-built player for his current (and only) defensive position, one he'd never been terribly proficient at in the first place, and he'd never shown any ability to perform when it mattered, racking up home runs on a largely losing team all those years. If anyone has ever spent any time watching a free swinger bat on a mostly losing team, it is pretty easy to see how and why he would see a few more mistake pitches than he might otherwise on a playoff contender. He was exposed immediately on a larger stage where the pitching was at or near peak level every night and he has not met the expectations of the FO, the team, and what Atlanta fans he ever had. SEND HIM PACKING... 

TideDawg
TideDawg

Two players that have had the greatest impact on the Braves........Of course that would be Uggla and BJ. There are few comments written that exclude their names. They have become icons of futility in the Braves organization. They are the "Joker" and "Penguin" in Gotham, aka (Atlanta). Where the heck is Batman when we need him??


Speaking of Batman.....the Braves could use a good right handed one in the lineup.

TideDawg
TideDawg

GMs make mistakes trying to improve their team and Wren has made a lot of them with the Braves. That kind of crap happens but when you continue to compound the problem by playing these mistakes just to try and get your money's worth out of them...that's ridiculous!! You sign these players to help the team then handicap the team by playing them when they continue to fail. I don't understand that logic. I don't know what Wren's record was before he came to the Braves, but I know he probably has the same success rate with the Braves that BJ has hitting.

GeorgiaSECFan
GeorgiaSECFan

Fire everyone that signed off on Uggla and 2 years later supported B J Upton.  They did not learn from mistake. 2 strikes you're out. Don't need 3 strikes. Braves need Scouts that recognize ballplayers who can fracking hit.

Rilo
Rilo

Can't blame the front office for Uggla but getting his twin brother (BJ) makes this front office one of the worst in baseball. Of course, it doesn't help when you have such a horrible ownership group.

Joe Brave
Joe Brave

sorry....thanks Mr Bradley for explaining "sunk cost"

Joe Brave
Joe Brave

FINALLY, the one thing I learned in college 30 years ago.....the theory of sunk cost!!!!  We an't getting our money back, it's gone and the Braves are not going to get any more "return".  Thank you Mr Obien.  And thank you Dr Harry Davis (ASU)....the prof I had at App! who drilled this into our brains of mush.

Hesalive
Hesalive

Braves seem intent to either ostracize him so badly that he quits (forfeiting his salary), or letting him rot on the bench (totally awkward). Agreed, however, that he should no longer be wearing a Tomahawk across his chest. 

ToeMeetsLeather
ToeMeetsLeather

I guess it would be out of the question to kidnap Prado during the allstar break and give him Uggla's uniform until we get caught, huh?

Surely someone will give Wren a bucket of batting practice balls, and maybe a bag of bubblegum for BJ, for Dan. Well on second thought, maybe not.

BRAVES01
BRAVES01

OK Here goes -


I would not cut him yet unless there is a financial advantage to do so!


I think the Braves should look to replace the Hitting Coach tandem - more players have degreased than progressed under these 2 guys the last 2 years!


And give Frank Wren the boot with them! What has he done of significance besides trade away talent for less than average players? The front office has not missed on a long term contract player since the 80's until Wren arrived. The guy is not able to make the deals the front office has the reputation for making. Heck he cannot even get players to agree to come over and finish contract years here.


To me you invest in great hitting coaches and bring in another GM. Fredi is managing great with what he has to wok with. Also, there is a change in he type and amount of off season performance training that many leading MLB teams are using - I think the Braves and Falcons need to look hard at their off season programs.

PeteScott
PeteScott

Uggla is truly ugly........as a hitter. To watch him try to hit a baseball is embarrassing..........beyond pathetic.

And then to realize that some Rhodes Scholar in the Braves front office actually signed him to a "Bazillion" $$$$ contract is totally outside the realm of belief.


Only in America.

BigHittas
BigHittas

Sad stat of the day

Mike Minor BA .172  HR 1
Dan Uggla BA .162  HR 2

ItFigures
ItFigures

The moral of the story is:

Frank Wren should avoid having anything to to do with the State of Florida.

redleg24
redleg24

Braves suspend Uggla for showing up late.  There are a few players that should be suspended for showing up.period.  Bad team with no true hitters, make shift starting rotation, relievers that would not make the roster of other teams and a head coach with no real major league experience.  Time to get a proven manager, better players and real pitchers.  What happen to those great scouts that help the team draft real good pitchers.

redleg24
redleg24

There was no need to bring up a player.  Suspending Uggla for one day was no different than letting him sit on the bench for the entire game.  All they did was save a few thousand dollars.  Just suspend him for the rest of the season for work related incidents-failure to comply with team policy and work out the legal issue after the season.  Pay him later if ruled by the idiots that run baseball.  Which I had a multi-million dollar contract with a no cut clause and guaranteed pay no matter how I performed.

Hang in there Uggla and get all they owe you-the fools made the contract and have an obligation to pay.  If you were BJ it would not matter how bad you performed.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@pjenks Do you really think Dan Uggla gives any thought to what a batting coach says. He has never changed his approach at the plate. Long looping swing even with two strikes. All or nothing approach,Home run, strike out or maybe a walk if he is lucky.Maybe the pressure of the big money extension got to him,or maybe he is just done as a MLB player. Maybe a change of scenery will do Dan some good, how about a summer in Japan.

OHaveMercy
OHaveMercy

@RONMERIDIAN Sounds like a plan.  What I would like to know is why or how Schafer ended up in Freddie's doghouse.  He is forgotten man on a roster that could use his speed to manufacture runs.  Another casualty of a Frank Wren contract that compels the manager to play someone full time he would otherwise platoon? 

DavidinVirginia
DavidinVirginia

@NathanChapman And even if you thought the original trade wasn't bad (I thought it was okay, but nothing great), Wren and company still didn't have to sign him to that ridiculous extension right away. 

DS1
DS1

@ErnestB 

Why?  Do the Yankees have a death wish?

raleighbravefan
raleighbravefan

@TideDawg You mean the best record in baseball over the past 3 years? Is that the record you are talking about? Sheesh.

khd713
khd713

@Rilo "one of the worst in baseball". Under what possible rationale could you describe this front office as "one of the worst in baseball"? The Braves have more wins than any other major league team over the last 4.5 years, and currently sit in first place, on track to win their division for the second year in a row, and yet some people continue to say this GM is the worst ever. Why? Because he's taken a couple of big gambles that didn't pay off? So what? You can't succeed without failing first. How about the dozens of gambles he's taken that have worked out perfectly, in many cases way better than anyone expected? There is not a single GM in the major leagues who doesn't have an albatross contract or two somewhere on the roster. Give me a break. You people have no perspective. You have no idea what it was like to grow up in this town in the 1970s and '80s when the Braves were hands-down the worst team in baseball. You have no idea what it was like to lose 85-100 games every season, and know before spring training even began that they had zero chance of competing. John Schuerholz and Frank Wren have built a winning franchise – the only winning franchise this city has ever known! You ingrates need to get your heads out of your &%$#es and start recognizing what we are truly fortunate to have in Atlanta, and what the fans in about 25 other major league cities would gladly give key body parts to have. I don't want a GM who doesn't take chances. I liked the Dan Uggla trade at the time Wren made it, and I would wager that every single one of you naysayers did, too. He was exactly what the team needed. So, he didn't work out, for whatever reason. He gave us one decent year but turned out to be a major bust. That doesn't mean that making the trade in the first place wasn't a rational decision. It was! The person to blame for the failing is Uggla, not Frank Wren! The trade was a sound decision. The B.J. deal is the same. You can argue about the size of the contract, but before you do you should try to remember that baseball is different from other sports. There is no salary cap, so money is just money. It's not a big deal. You move money around and try to balance a payroll within a budget, and sometimes you have to step out a bit and take a chance. Sometimes those chances work out, and sometimes they don't. The ones who say the B.J. deal will hamstring this team for years are just fools. There is always more money in baseball. As long as the Braves keep winning, fans keep going to games, TV contracts keep paying, and the economy is sound, then there will always be more money to sign more players. This roster is not there, yet, but I have absolute confidence that a GM and President who have assembled nothing but winning teams over their tenures, will continue to add and subtract, looking for the right combination to put the Braves into the World Series once again. It's going to happen. Maybe not this year, but it will soon. And then, I'm sure you naysayers will have something else to complain about. In the meantime, you might try lightening up a bit and enjoying first place, because I can promise you that it sure beats the alternative.

Quicherbichin
Quicherbichin

@Joe Brave and once again, someone brings up the term that no baseball executive uses... and thinks they are being intelligent by doing so!

pjenks
pjenks

@BRAVES01  At last....someone who agrees with me!  You can't make me believe Dan Uggla is incapable of coming back as a good hitter.  He needs some help from a REAL hitting coach.  Besides, a hitting coach comes cheaper than the 9million they owe Uggla for the rest of his contract!

oldone42
oldone42

@BRAVES01 Well I guess the trade of Justin Upton .278 17 HR  and Chris Johnson .277 6 HR for Randall Delgado ERA 5.19 Martin Prado .275 4 HR Zeke Spruill ERA 4.82, shortstop Nick Ahmed .231 and first baseman Brandon Drury paying for A Visalia.

kerryb
kerryb

When Uggla was traded for and signed there was no indication that he would turn out like this. At the time he was probably one of the top 2 hitting second basemen in the league. Hind sight is a very easy thing to have.

BradleyBreeze
BradleyBreeze

@PeteScott ........................yeah, Larry the Cable Guy would probably be a better General Manager!

ChrisJWhite
ChrisJWhite

@Diddler-on-the-Roof EXACTLY!!  Google "dan uggla slimming down".  Roided Uggla Top 5 2nd baseman.  Non-roided Uggla worst player on a major league roster?

oldone42
oldone42

@redleg24 I wonder how this bad team with no true hitters, make shift starting rotation, relievers that would not make the roster of other teams and a head coach with no real major league experience. has managed to win the NL East last year and is tied for first this year.  I guess only Milwaukee and LA Dodgers are any good in the NL.  With only Detroit, Oakland and the LA Angels in the AL.

wj58
wj58

@redleg24 Head Coach?  Is this college football?  BTW, we are tied for first, despite all of those issues.  So please give the man SOME credit.  And PROVEN?  Let's see, in his fourth year as MANAGER.  First year missed wild card by 1 game.  Second year had wild card but new stupid rule they had to playoff and lost it on a bad call.  Third year won his division outright, despite a mountain of injuries.  Fourth  year, at the break, tied for first.  Both of the last two years all the "experts" gave the Braves no chance against the Nats.  

NathanChapman
NathanChapman

@kerryb that is not true at all, he was one of the best home run hitting second basemen in all of baseball for the 5 years leading up to his coming to Atl, but that was IT, he sucked at every other offensive category, he struck out a ton, even when he was hitting his moon-shot homers in Fla. he was probably on some sort of PED at the start of that time in Fla that aided his bat speed enough to let him hit a "blind hog" homer often enough on a 3rd or 4th place team, but once testing toughened up and he was on a competitive team, even the mistake homers ceased, which again, was about all he ever brought to the table. it was a stupid move, and I remember plenty of us griping about trading Infante for the clown...

BigHittas
BigHittas

or maybe coaching?
Everyone says he is a great team guy....

wj58
wj58

@TrainWreckBystander @BigHittas Maybe they could give him another eye surgery, claiming the last one didn't work or something.  It's July 14th, recovery time is about 30 days, then a couple of weeks rehab, then by the time he'd have to come back on the roster, it's September and rosters expand.  So at that point he either "finds his stroke" or finds his familiar spot on the bench.  Either way, sounds like a good plan.  

BradleyBreeze
BradleyBreeze

@wj58 @redleg24 ...............yeah you are right............the Manager just works with what he's got................the one these guys ought to be questioning or bashing here is the General Manager..........the one that makes him(*Gonzalez) keep a guy(Uggla) who he(Wren) knows won't be played...................Stupidity runs wild in the Brave's front office!

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  1. […] Braves should release second baseman Dan Uggla, writes Mark Bradley of the Journal-Constitution. The $19MM the Braves owe Uggla through 2015 is a “sunken cost,” and the Braves […]