Dan Uggla staying in Atlanta for a long time

He signed a 5/$62mil extension today.

I do not like this deal for Atlanta. Sure, he is coming off a 5.1 fWAR season, but the Braves will be paying him a fair amount of money for his age 31-35 seasons. Granted he might still be good NOW, but come 2013 and beyond, I can’t say with confidence he will still be a worthwhile player. At $12.4mil per year, it means Uggla will pretty need to be a 2-3 WAR player throughout the contract. There’s a chance that might happen. But there’s also a chance he is dreadful in a couple years.

So far in over 3300 career games Uggla has a 3.9 WAR/700, but in my opinion his production could get ugly. He has always been an offensive player. His career wRC+ is 121. But his defense is putrid- his fielding value is -22. As he gets older, I can only imagine that will get worse and when I say worse, I mean bad enough to shave a complete win off his value. Moreover, I can only imagine his offensive production will dip sometime soon as he enters his mid-thirties. Considering offense is the one thing lifting his value, that could be his nail in the coffin. If the offense dips, Uggla goes from a 3-4 WAR player to a 1 WAR who will be paid $12.4mil.

Atlanta is taking a chance here, hoping Uggla will continue to hit and hit and hit. I have tough time believing his bat won’t be slowing down in 2013when he is 33 years old or 2015 when he is 35 years old. In my opinion, the smart move would have been to try and win a playoff spot with him this season, and then turn him loose and receive two draft picks. After the 2011 season, former Braves in Kelly Johnson and Omar Infante may be free agents. They could bring them in on a shorter term deal for less money and get similar production.

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