The rumors started yesterday, when FOXSports.com reported the Marlins were planning to trade second baseman Dan Uggla and mentioned the Nationals as a team that could be interested. That confirms what I’ve heard and suspected for a while; general manager Mike Rizzo drafted Uggla when he was with the Diamondbacks, and like Brandon Webb, Uggla is one of the players Rizzo is quickest to mention when he’s asked about his past. He’s fond of Uggla, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he wound up in Washington.
But there are a couple problems with how Uggla fits with the Nationals. First, he’s a poor defender, and the Nationals have made it known they want to build with defense and athleticism. They also have Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa, and an Uggla trade would mean one of those players would be blocked. But if they don’t resign Adam Dunn, they’d need a power bat in their lineup, and Uggla could help with that. I don’t quite understand why defense wouldn’t be an issue at second base if it is at first, but that’s another matter.
If Uggla did land here, I’d think that would precipitate either Desmond or Espinosa leaving in a trade. It’s widely believed the Royals would want one of the two players in a trade for Zack Greinke, and the other one could play shortstop with Uggla at second.
The Marlins want a catcher as part of a package in return for Uggla, and the Nationals suddenly are stocked with depth at the position. If they could get Uggla for Derek Norris and a pitcher, and then flip one of their middle infielders as part of a package for Greinke, I’d think they’d have to jump on that.
What do you think? Do you like the possibility of Uggla coming here, or is that too much of a head-scratcher? Let me know.