Monday, October 3, 2011

An Uggla collapse

During last off-season, the Braves traded pitcher Michael Dunn and infielder Omar Infante for slugging 2nd basemen Dan Uggla. An Uggla delivered, for his old team and division rival Marlins. His batting problems were well documented, his OBP was .058 less than his previous career low. However, it was his defense that was the bigger problem in '11. He led NL 2nd basemen in errors, and posted a horrible -1.5 WAR on D. He actually had more homers in '11 than in '10, but had less RBIs (probably because less runners in front of him on base, which is why RBIs is a very imperfect stat). His other offensive metrics weren't very impressive, 1.29 PPG, and 2.85 PAPP. Those are okay numbers, until you consider his salary. Through 2015, Uggla will average making 12.4 million a year. He posted just a 1.6 WAR in his first year as a Brave (again, mainly because of his horrible defense), giving him a WASP of 7750 with that salary number (with the Marlins, Uggla posted an amazing 928 WASP, he averaged a 3.08 WAR with Florida, meriting a 9.24 million dollar salary). With that big salary number, even the good 2010 would have barely put him under the Halladay Standard at a 2952 WASP. He actually made 9 million in 2011, giving him a still not good WASP of 5825 for the middle of the road salary Braves. He will need a career high 4.3 WAR next year just to meet the Halladay Standard and be "worth it", and he has clearly regressed defensively, so that will be even harder to do. Omar Infante posted a career high 3.4 WAR in Florida, while making 2.5 million (an amazing 735 WASP). He is a free agent this offseason however. Michael Dunn posted a .7 WAR and a great WASP of 591 and won't be a free agent until 2016. Considering that the Braves missed the playoffs by one game, and lost 2.5 wins over replacement (!) in this trade, its not hyperbole or sports talk radio to say that this trade cost them the playoffs. Of course, its again the Marlins ( went nearly .500 this season despite having 24th largest payroll) doing a great job of unloading homegrown players when they get more expensive, and getting good players in return.

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