Giants sign Dan Uggla to minor-league deal, attempt to fix second-base woes

Giants sign Dan Uggla to minor-league deal, attempt to fix second-base woes
Giants sign Dan Uggla to minor-league deal, attempt to fix second-base woes

Dan Uggla wasn't unemployed too long. When the Atlanta Braves released the slumping second baseman Friday, there were a few likely destinations for the powerful but batting average-challenged Uggla.

The San Francisco Giants, who have been relying on inexperienced and/or injured players at second all season, were one of Uggla's suitors. The two sides didn't waste any time. Uggla has agreed to a minor-league deal to join the Giants, a roster move first reported by Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports.

Giants beat writer Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle adds the following details:

I have confirmed that it’s a Triple-A deal. Uggla is flying to Albuquerque to join Fresno. He has an out clause that allows him to become a free agent if the Giants don’t promote him by Aug. 1. So, clearly, the Giants are hedging their bets as they seek a second baseman by the July 31 trade deadline.

Look at this as akin to the Pat Burrell signing in 2002, a no-risk deal since the Braves are on the hook for practically all remaining in on Uggla’s five-year, $62 million contract, which ends next year. It costs the Giants relative pennies to see if a change of scenery can help.

As Schulman references, the Braves are paying Uggla nearly $19 million simply to go away. He hit .162 with two home runs and 10 RBIs for the Braves in 2014 in 48 games, but lost his starting job to a rookie, so he's mostly been pinch-hitting. Last year, Uggla hit 22 homers but only hit .179.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Giants have called up rookie Joe Panik and journeyman Brandon Hicks to play second this season, while veteran Marco Scutaro dealt with back issues. Scutaro, 38, joined the Giants lineup for the first time this season, but he's since been dealing with neck issues. 

In that context, grabbing Uggla makes sense, especially considering the Giants will only pay him a pro-rated contract. The Giants have had luck in types of deals in the past, so Uggla might excite a fan base that still remembers the postseason runs of 2010 and 2012 quite vividly and thinks this year's bunch is one piece away from winning the NL West again.

Uggla, however, isn't the same players who hit 36 homers and had 82 RBIs in 2011. He struggled so much that the Braves didn't even put him on their postseason roster last season. The Giants certainly need a second baseman upgrade if they're going to challenge the Dodgers this fall. Uggla might be a worthwhile back-up plan if the Giants can't get a player like Ben Zobrist, but Uggla is not the answer.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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