Uggla would be a lot more valuable if he was good defensively, but he's not. In his career he's only had two UZR scores above average: 5.5 in his rookie year, 2006, and 0.7, which is barely above average, in 2008. Otherwise he's always been a very bad defender, finishing with UZR scores of -9.9 and -7.6 in 2009 and 2010, respectively. The stats suggest he will not be able to stay at second base as he gets older, which is a problem. Uggla's value comes from being a great hitting 2nd baseman. In 2010, he had a career high .877 OPS and his OPS has never dipped below .800. Those are very good numbers for a second baseman. But if he's forced to move to first base or left field, he's a good hitter but not a GREAT hitter. So, if the Giants were to acquire Uggla, they'd have a terrible defensive 2nd baseman for the first couple of years and then just an okay-hitting 1B or LF for the next few years. And that's assuming his offensive production doesn't drop off drastically as he ages, which is a real possibility.
Uggla's contract demands coupled with his age would also have to be considered concerning. He is already 30 years old and will be 31 on Opening Day 2011. And he wants a 5 year deal worth about $12 million per year? I'm not necessarily saying Uggla doesn't deserve it. He's been one of the best offensive second basemen in the game for a few years now. But that just would not be a good long-term investment for the Giants. Not to mention the fact that the Giants probably don't even have the money to pay Uggla because they are already financially burdened by the terrible long-term investments in Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand.
If the Giants were to trade for Uggla now, they'd probably have to give up a good starting pitcher (Sanchez?) and a pretty good prospect. Then they'd have to give him the huge contract extension that he wants. Do not want. If they wait to sign him in free agency next year, they have a 32 year old second baseman who is still bad defensively, whose best offensive years are probably behind him, and he still wants that big contract. Do not want.
Dan Uggla is tempting. In the first couple of years of a deal, he'd be a huge help for the offense. And hey, if Cody Ross can convince him to sign next year for 4 years and $20 million, I'm all for it. But that won't happen. Ultimately, it would be a bad idea. Whether it's this year or next year, just say no to Dan Uggla.
As always your comments, opinions, and disagreements are always welcome in the comments section.