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Should the Marlins trade Dan Uggla?

By Andrew Polin

I’ve been a Dan Uggla fan since he was a Rule 5 draft pick. He’s a blue-collar baseball player who has produced tremendously for the Marlins. Being old school, I’ve always wondered why he didn’t choke up to cut down on strikeouts with the a two-strike count. But you can’t argue with 30 homeruns and 90 RBIs a year.

But the next six months is when the Marlins should trade Uggla. The team needs to improve its defense and, let’s face it, Uggla is an average to below average defender and will just lose range in the years to come. His Ultimate Zone Rating was a -10.1 in 2009. Compare this to Chase Utley’s UZR rating which was 10.8.

If Bonafacio can improve his on-base percentage to at least .340-.360 — and he was working on it during the winter leagues — his defense will help tremendously. The Marlins need to emphasize defense if it wants to ease the burden on its young pitching staff. Some believe Jarrod Washburn’s second half decline in 2009 was attributed to the trade that sent him from a good defensive team in the Seattle Mariners to a less than stellar defense in the Detroit Tigers.

That’s why the Marlins need to actively shop Uggla and, hopefully, receive at least one top tier prospect.

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