Ooo, look! A medium-sized blockbuster!
- The Atlanta Braves acquired All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla from the Florida Marlins for utilityman Omar Infante and pitcher Mike Dunn on Tuesday in the first trade of the general managers' meetings.
Uggla is expected to play second base for Atlanta. His arrival frees up Martin Prado to share time at first base with rookie Freddie Freeman, provides insurance for Chipper Jones at third, and also log some at-bats in left field.
So, let's see ... The Marlins have now, in the space of about 72 hours, traded their starting center fielder and their starting second baseman for three relief pitchers and a utility infielder? And locked down John Buck for three years?
If nothing else, you've got to give them credit for dynamism. I just can't figure out who's going to play center field next spring. And without a center fielder, you give up way too many triples.
But if the Marlins' plan is unclear, from where I sit the Braves' is even less clear. Prado sharing time at first base? It's true that he's not a good second baseman, but if Freeman doesn't deserve the every-day job at first base right now, he will soon. My guess? This is a step along the way to Prado replacing Jones at third base. But for now, Prado will keep doing what he's always done: Play everything in the infield except shortstop.
The takeaway is that the Braves just got more talented, the Marlins less talented. The Braves haven't yet become more talented than the Phillies, nor have the Marlins become less talented than the Nationals.
But both clubs are heading in those directions.
Update: Strike me down for lack of imagination. According to Frank Wren, Prado's ticketed for left field next season. Which makes sense, at least in the short term.