Marlins having talks to sign Uggla

Whether Dan Uggla is on the Marlins’ Opening Day roster remains to be seen.

For now, don’t dismiss the chance of the Marlins signing the two-time All-Star second baseman. In fact, the team is currently engaged in dialogue with Uggla’s agent, Jeff Borris, about a contract for 2010.

Uggla, the first Marlin to ever have three straight 30 home run seasons, is in his second year of arbitration. A year ago, both sides couldn’t come to terms on a contract for 2009. His case went to an arbitration hearing, with the ruling going in Uggla’s favor.

In 2009, he made $5.35 million, and his salary projects to exceed $7 million in 2010. Fitting Uggla into their budget will be a challenge, since their payroll is expected to be less than $40 million.

The past few months, the Marlins have shopped Uggla, but there hasn’t been a big market for his services. The Giants and Orioles had interest, but talks with those clubs have since stopped.

The Marlins have insisted that they won’t just give the slugger away.

Even if he signs with the Marlins, the team could still seek to deal him before the start of Spring Training. Another possibility is the Marlins keep Uggla, and see if they are in the race at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. If they are, they may retain him for the final few months. If they aren’t, they would be in position to shop him.

— Joe Frisaro


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