This evening we get a recap of the past week's events from AJC reporter David O'Brien, and with the last paragraph of his column he speculates about some moves that the Braves may make in the coming weeks:
The Braves probably have at least $7 million left in their budget, maybe closer to $9 million (they won’t say exactly) and are still considering adding another hitter, possibly a left fielder (Xavier Nady?) who can also play first base. Or maybe a second baseman (slugger Dan Uggla?), if they decide Martin Prado could still be in the lineup regularly at a mix of positions. The Braves could use Cabrera or another outfielder in a trade for Uggla or another slugger.
We keep hearing the Dan Uggla rumors, and O'Brien is one of those who won't let it die. Certainly another bat seems like it would be in the cards, what with the extra money we're supposed to have. It would also be nice to have some insurance and depth against injuries. I don't want to kick Martin Prado out of his rightfully earned second base job, but putting him back on the bench in a utility role and replacing him with Dan Uggla might add a lot more power to the lineup and a lot more depth to the club, as Prado could fill in at first, second, and third.
Of course, maybe we're just seeing this as perceived power with regards to Uggla. Yes, he can hit 30 homeruns, but Prado actually had a higher slugging percentage than Uggla last year, .464 to .459. This also begs the question that if the Braves wanted more power at second why didn't they just keep Kelly Johnson? Or was he too erratic for their liking. Another knock on Uggla is his strikeouts. He strikes out at a rate (22.7%) twice that of Martin Prado (11.6%).
So while that move may be good for our depth and homerun hitting ability, I'm not a big supporter of removing Prado from the lineup only to add an expensive second baseman with two more arbitration years. Prado is a terrific number-2 hitter in the lineup who excels at moving folks over and doing the small things that a player in that position generally should do.
Hopefully the Braves will look for other more creative moves to bolster the team more before the season starts. I would not be too keen on a move to acquire Uggla.