The Red Sox are currently without a starting left fielder for the 2010 season, with free agent Jason Bay's future hanging in the balance. But according to foxsports.com, the local nine may be interested in converting a slugging second baseman, Florida's Dan Uggla, to fill that void.
The four-year veteran has played his entire major league career at second base, save for two games as a designated hitter. However, Uggla, a two-time All-Star, played 20 games in the outfield in Double-A in 2004, he has the athleticism to move anywhere around the diamond and he shouldn't have any trouble patrolling Boston's short porch in left.
The Giants and Orioles are also showing interest in the 29-year-old Memphis alum to play third base. But given his athletic background — in college, he played shortstop, second, catcher and third base — and the Manny Ramirez-friendly confines of the Green Monster's shadows, landing Uggla and his 360 career RBIs sounds like a good and cheap (2009 salary: $5 million) replacement should the Red Sox miss out on retaining Bay.
Despite a dip last season in his batting average (.247), he launched 31 homers and drove in 90 runs. Uggla is averaging more than 30 homers and 90 RBIs per season since cracking into the big leagues in 2006. The slugger has a .257 batting average, a .482 slugging percentage and a .826 OPS in 617 career games in Southern Florida.
The Marlins may be forced to ship Uggla off this offseason due to an off-field altercation he had with Marlins stud shortstop Hanley Ramirez this past September.
According to Fanhouse, Uggla called out Ramirez in front of reporters in the locker room for taking himself out of a game:
"'If you really wanted to win, you would have never come out of the game,' Uggla said. 'Stand pat.'
Ramirez: 'Yeah, I'm 0-for-14. They think that's why. I'm still hitting .355. It's unbelievable. And arbitration, I've got arbitration next year so I have to sit on my numbers.'
Uggla: 'Yeah, you got your $70 million, so [expletive] win. What the [expletive] you have to come out of the game for?'
'I don't show nobody up on the field. You showed me up on the field! I never do that to nobody,' Ramirez said, shouting now."
The Marlins have insurance at second in Emilio Bonfacio should they decide not to dish out the projected $8 million in arbitration they'll need to keep Uggla.