The San Francisco Giants have signed free agent second baseman Dan Uggla, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. It a minor league contract, says Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. He will head to the Giants' Triple-A affiliate in Fresno. If Uggla does come up to the major leagues before his August 1st opt-out, he will make a prorated portion of the MLB minimum salary.
Uggla is already being paid north of $5 million by the Atlanta Braves for the remainder of 2014. Atlanta released the struggling second baseman back on July 18th, and one suitor for his services from the beginning were the Giants, whom have had poor play from that position on the season. While Uggla is not a major upgrade, a change of scenery may enhance his performance.
The Giants still may decide to go after a second baseman before the trade deadline on July 31st. On the season, Giants' second baseman have contributed a low 66 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus) on the season. Their primary second baseman has been Brandon Hicks, who is not even on their 25-man roster. On the season, Hicks has a dismal .599 OPS. As a whole, Giants second basemen have a .569 OPS, which ranks third-to-last in the major leagues.
The 34-year-old Uggla has had a .162/.241/.231 triple-slash line in 145 plate appearances with the Braves this season. With that has come just two homers and 20 RBI. He has a -0.6 fWAR on the year. However, Uggla is just a few years removed from being one of the best second baseman in the National League. Back in just 2011 Uggla was hitting 36 homers, driving in 82, and posting an OPS of .762.
Uggla is under contract through the 2015 season, all of which the Braves owe him. Atlanta owes Uggla $13 million next season. A minor league contract like he just signed is usually only for one year, so if Uggla can show that he still has something left in the tank, he may be able to net himself a MLB-minimum contract next season. As for now, however, he is still looking to prove himself.
The Giants have been known to have picked up "washed up" veterans and find one last good season in them. Cody Ross and Pat Burrell are two fantastic examples, as the Giants used both of their excellent play to help them win a World Series back in 2010. Your move, Dan Uggla.