The Atlanta Braves have acquired second baseman Dan Uggla from the Florida Marlins in exchange for infielder Omar Infante and pitcher Michael Dunn, according to (click here for the article).

Uggla is clearly the biggest piece of this deal.  He’s coming off a season where he hit .287 with 33 H, 105 RBI, 100 R and 4 SB in 589 AB—his fourth consecutive season of at least 30 HR.  He did benefit from a .330 BABIP, but he also lowered his strikeout rate for the third consecutive season:

  • 2008 – 32.2%
  • 2009 – 26.6%
  • 2010 – 25.3%

It’s hard to imagine being able to maintain the BABIP, meaning a regression could come in the average department, even if he could maintain his improved strikeout rate.  Consider that his averages the prior three seasons were .245, .260 and .243, and the chances are likely that he regresses there.

However, he has always excelled in Turner Field:

  • 2008 – 31 AB, .484, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 12 R
  • 2009 – 34 AB, .353, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R
  • 2010 – 35 AB, .343, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R

His value does not change much, as he is going to continue to be a threat in the middle of the lineup.  Our initial rankings had him at sixth.  There is a chance that he moves up a spot (fifth was Brandon Phillips), but time will tell.

As for the rest of the fallout for the Braves, Martin Prado likely shifts to third base, if Chipper Jones is still out of action.  If Jones is healthy, Prado should move to the outfield.  In other words, they scored a huge victory and strengthened their lineup significantly.

For the Marlins, Infante is going to step into the starting second baseman job.  He represents a significant downgrade, however.  He offers little power, coming off a season with 8 HR and 47 RBI in 471 AB.

His average was his biggest asset, with a .321 mark in 2010.  Of course, it also came courtesy of a .355 BABIP.  If that regresses (which it likely will), we are looking at a player with little to no fantasy appeal.  Even if he were to hit .300, without power or speed (his career high is 13 SB in 2004) he brings no fantasy appeal.

He was in line to be an everyday player for the Braves, so this doesn’t bring much of a change to his value.  Maybe, if he ultimately hits second in Florida, he’ll score a few more runs, but that’s about it.  He’s not a player you want to target in your drafts.

Dunn is a strikeout machine, posting a 12.2 K/9 in 47.1 innings at Triple-A and a 12.8 K/9 in 19.0 innings for the Braves.  Of course, he has no control.  At Triple-A he posted a BB/9 of 4.8 and for the Braves a BB/9 of 8.1.

You have to like the upside he brings, as the Marlins continue to accumulate options for their middle relief corps (click here to view my write-up on the Marlins trades from the weekend), but from a fantasy perspective he’s not going to have value.  If he can’t consistently throw strikes, he’s a disaster waiting to happen.

On paper, it certainly appears like the Braves got a huge bargain and are the clear-cut winners in this trade.  What do you think?  Did the Braves get a big steal?

Make sure to check out our early 2011 rankings:


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